About Mike

In the law, and in life, Mike Gatto has always felt a calling to improve how society works for its citizens. That calling led him to serve in the California State Assembly, where he won eight elections to serve four terms. That calling makes him a different kind of attorney, a problem solver focused on obtaining efficient, excellent results.

During his tenure in the Legislature, Mike Gatto served on the Banking & Finance committee, presided over Assembly sessions as Assistant Speaker, and chaired the Appropriations, Consumer Protection & Privacy, and Utilities & Commerce committees. As chair of Appropriations, he determined billions in spending each year. As chair of Consumer Protection & Privacy, he was involved in several innovative initiatives involving technology and cybersecurity. As chair of Utilities & Commerce, he guided landmark utility and energy policy, and regulatory reforms.  Along the way, he developed substantial expertise in each of those subject areas.

Mike was also the author of several landmark pieces of legislation in his tenure – and a total of fifty-five measures he authored became law.  He authored the first Rainy Day Fund, a savings account for the state, forcing the state to sock away money when times are good, so it needn’t scramble so much when times are not so good. He authored landmark production tax incentives, to keep good entertainment jobs in Southern California, after a generation of lawmakers had tried and failed. He authored the only substantive Proposition 65 reform ever, which saved businesses from junk lawsuits. He brought $700 million to Southern California to clean up polluted groundwater. He authored a bill to allow families to avoid probate (and attorneys’ fees), a bill the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association called one of the most important bills since Prop. 13. And, on a more fun level, Mike authored the bill that brought back the classic black license plates.

Before his election to the Assembly, Mike practiced law at Los Angeles’s oldest and most distinguished firm, and previously served as a Congressional Chief of Staff, and in the administrations of three Los Angeles mayors.

He is a frequent guest analyst on television news programs, serves on the Board of Directors for the A-Mark Foundation, and is a member of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, and a Captain in the California Guard.