Backers of an initiative to create a publicly owned utility to provide electric service to much of the state, replacing privately owned utilities such as Southern California Edison, were given approval today to begin gathering signatures by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
The California Electrical Utility District Initiative would allow publicly owned utilities such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power the option of joining the statewide utility or remain independent.
The initiative would create an 11-member Board of Directors elected by the public to operate the utility.
Initiative proponent Ben Davis said passage of the measure would lower the cost of electricity to all consumers in the state, encourage new business development, create jobs, enlarge the tax base and improve the economy.
The measure would result in a substantial net change in state and local finances, according to an estimate prepared by the Legislative Analyst's Office and Director of Finance Ana J. Matosantos.
Valid signatures from 504,760 registered voters -- 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 general election -- must be submitted by July 1 to qualify the measure for the November 2014 ballot.
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Do you think the government could provide electricity more efficiently and affordably than the private utility companies such as Southern California Edison?
- City News Service