Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Page 3


Lawmaker Asks for Contributions to Probate ‘Wiki Bill’


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A state legislator is asking for assistance in drafting an amendment to the Probate Code using an online process open to anyone who cares to participate.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, said in a release Monday that his “online Wiki” would be a “groundbreaking opportunity to allow individual citizens to draft a piece of legislation directly.” By visiting, which uses an interface similar to Wikipedia’s, participants can participate in the drafting of a bill, which Gatto said he would introduce “after a consensus emerges.”

This would be “the first purely crowdsourced piece of legislation in the United States,” the lawmaker said.

The Probate Code was selected as the first test of this new way of legislating, Gatto said, because “almost everyone has had some experience in handling the death of a loved one [and] large numbers of the public are also likely to have an opinion on how California’s relevant laws could be improved.”

As of yesterday afternoon, the Wiki contained comments from an individual who said he was concerned with what he said was the lack of adequate regulation of living trusts, but acknowledged that he was a layperson who lacked specialized knowledge needed to draft specific proposals.

A spokesperson for Gatto told the MetNews he was hopeful that attorneys and other experts would learn about the Wiki and contribute their expertise. The deadline for introducing bills in next year’s portion of the legislative session is in February.


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