CREDIT TO CalWatchdog
NEW: Gov. and Leg leaders retreat on public records act mess
June 21, 2013
By Katy Grimes
SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers have reversed course on the sneaky attempt to reduce access to public records, as mandated by the Public Records Act. The act provides Californians the ability to obtain documents about state and local government actions.
Instead, according to the Los Angeles Times, Legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown are looking at a constitutional amendment that would force local governments to pay for a state mandate that always has been picked up by the state. The result will be even more pressure on local budgets. So much for all of the feel-good political rhetoric about support for local governments.
Here’s what happened. On June 14, AB 76 was passed by both houses of the Legislature and sent to the governor. It would gut the state Public Records Act at the local level. The last-minute trailer bill language would remove local governments’ current requirements to respond within 10 days to public records act requests, or to assist those requesting documents.
But opposition to the bill was immense from outraged members of the public and the media.
So on June 20, the Assembly passed SB 71, which is the same as AB 76, but with the the language threatening the Records Act removed.
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