Win cash for your idea making Calif. government run better

Californians could submit solutions to government issues and get paid for it under new legislation.

Assembly Bill 2138 would authorize the governor to select three agencies that would award prizes up to $25,000. The measure seeks to encourage Californians who are not employed by the state to solve a specific problem, innovate a process, or streamline a system within the given government agency.

A recent winner of a so-called "x prize" was a blue-collar truck worker who provided blueprints to a research defense agency for a new combat-support vehicle. The designer received more than $7,000 in exchange for plans and blueprints that AB 2138's author, Assem. Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, says would have cost the government millions of dollars.

"I think it's really important. You know, government is not typically open to people without some kind of connections or people who are inside the process," Gatto said."This would really open up government and to anybody with a good idea who wants to seek the renowned and that comes with it."

Gatto added, "This is an idea that out there, there are people who have technology or ideas or real intellectual property that they can submit to our state government to make it function a little bit better and that we could do it at a rate that's far cheaper than putting it up for the typical procurement process."

The x-prize money would come from the state's General Fund.

Currently some counties award prizes but there is no statewide program.


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