From Peggy Rossi – CSGA Legislative Watch Chair ….. I received a call and the message below this morning from Jan Meisels Allen of IAJGS. It is a heads up to a “trailer bill” attached to another bill. Please read below and contact your representatives as soon as possible. This could have serious consequences for records access.
IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee member Teven Laxer heard about this trailer bill about it on NPR this morning as Common Cause is strongly opposed. The following information was sent out by IAJGS…..
“… SB 71—it’s a trailer bill—NO HEARINGS and will be heard on floor of Senate and Assembly today or tomorrow. It requires only a majority vote to pass. One of the provisions is to make the California Public Records Act requests for records VOLUNTARY compliance by the local agency.
“trailer bills” that will accompany the budget bill for floor votes Friday — and possibly Saturday. The last-minute release of the policy bills needed to implement the spending plan has become something of a tradition at the Capitol, with open government advocates complaining that the public is not given enough time to evaluate the sometimes voluminous provisions. The Senate this morning voted to send all the bills to the floor without committee hearings, drawing the ire of Republicans.
This is the link to the bill—see pages 3 ( paragraph (3) , 17 (lines 2-40) -18 (lines 1-24).
There is very little we can do other than contact CA State Senators and Assembly persons to vote no on the bill or try to have someone amend it on the floor by removing these provisions. If the bill passes and since the D’s have a majority and this came from the D’s it is assumed it will pass is to ask Governor Brown to line item veto these provisions on pages 3, 17 and 18.
This is the link to the CA Legislature http://www.legislature.ca.gov/; http://senate.ca.gov/ —click on Senate or Assembly then on each of those pages either member or Senators for a list and link to each office.
While I am copying below only select sections please read all three pages to get the entirety of the bill
(3)Existing law, the California Public Records Act (CPRA), requires state and local agencies to make public records available upon receipt of a request that reasonably describes an identifiable record not otherwise exempt from disclosure, upon the payment of fees to cover costs. This bill would, commencing on the effective date of this bill, make compliance with certain provisions of the CPRA, which among other things relate to the delivery of electronic data, optional for local agencies.
The bill would encourage local agencies to follow these provisions as “best practices” and would require a local agency that determines that it will not follow these best practices to so announce orally at its next regularly scheduled public meeting and annually thereafter. By requiring this announcement, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest. This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
While Section 4 of the bill provides that compliance with the Public Records Act by California local agencies could be voluntary, upon notice by that agency at a public hearing.
- LINE 21- b) Beginning on January 1, 2014, a local agency that
- line 22 – determines that it will not follow these best practices, shall so
- line 23 – announce orally at its next regularly scheduled public meeting
- line 24- and annually thereafter at a regularly scheduled public meeting
- Note also on page 18: (3) Section 6253.9. As on this requirement, the local agency – line 17 – may determine the format of electronic data to be provided in – line 18 – response to a request for information
Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters column is a scathing rebuke of this process: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/13/5495425/dan-walters-budget-bill-trailers.html
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS NOW – THIS COULD GO TO A VOTE TODAY!!!