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New Sen. Doug LaMalfa is offering a somewhat new twist on the perennial law-making sweepstakes offered by various members of the state Legislature: The "There Ought NOT To Be A Law" Contest.

Instead of collecting constituents' suggestions for new laws, the Richvale Republican has asked 4th Senate District voters to submit "excessive, expensive or even downright silly" laws already on the books. He has pledged to introduce a bill early next year to repeal the top entry.

It's hard to be certain, but LaMalfa's office says they believe he is the first legislator to launch a contest solely aimed at repealing current laws. Several members already give voters the option for targeting new issues or existing laws, with Democratic Assemblymen Jerry Hill of San Mateo and Jared Huffman of San Rafael, for instance, framing their contests as "There ought to be a law ... or not."

UPDATE 4:43 p.m. An Alert reader has pointed out this 2001 San Francisco Chronicle piece on a repeal-a-law contest offered by Democratic Sen. Joe Simitian during his time in the Assembly.

Constituents in the conservative district were quick to offer their suggestions. By midday Monday, the official launch of the contest, the office had already received several entries calling to abolish Assembly Bill 32, the landmark greenhouse gas emissions law often lambasted as a "job-killer" by conservative and business groups, a LaMalfa spokesman said.

In addition to LaMalfa's legislative attempt to take the offending law off the books, the winner will have the opportunity to lunch with the senator and will receive a California state flag flown at the Capitol. Entries, which can be submitted using a form on the senator's website, will be accepted through Jan. 10.


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              Page Updated: Friday December 17, 2010 03:03 AM  Pacific

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