Democrats vote to gut the Public Records Act
|Photo by Randy Pench|
Kathy Hamilton on a sinister vote by state Democrats:
Hidden in the budget process a couple of days ago were trailer bills, SB 71 and AB 76, which passed in both the Senate and the Assembly. Last minute bills have become the norm rather than the exception under Governor Jerry Brown’s rule. These bills will make the Public Records Act optional for local agencies and make it difficult for those who seek information for the public good. This 11th hour kind of legislative activity should be banned. It is rumored that many legislators weren’t even aware of these changes and frankly they just voted blindly on them. It’s called follow the leader or leadership---a “trust me” kind of atmosphere.
The Fresno Bee also warns its readers about this legislation:
On Friday, lawmakers approved a pair of budget trailer bills (SB 71 and AB 76) that would free local governments of the obligation to comply with certain aspects of the California Public Records Act. The bills zipped through the Legislature with little or no committee review. Lawmakers clearly wanted to rubber stamp potentially embarrassing legislation under cover from prying eyes.
The Fresno Bee tells us that our Senator Yee opposed the creepy legislation:
Only one Democrat---Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco---had the courage to buck the party line and and join Republicans in voting no. Said Yee: "It's not about saving money. It's all about curtailing an open, transparent government that can be held accountable."