STATEMENT: Senate Democratic leaders propose permanent constitutional solution to preserve local government transparency

June 19, 2013

(Sacramento, CA) – A Constitutional Amendment will be introduced in the State Senate tomorrow, which will require permanent restoration of all California Public Records Act mandates in the state budget, and require that all local government entities pay for those services of providing public access to local government records. Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg was joined by Senator Mark Leno, Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, in making the announcement today.

California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D – Sacramento) and Senate Budget Committee Chair Senator Mark Leno (D – San Francisco) issue the following statement:

“The democratic principle of transparency deserves more than a temporary fix. It deserves a permanent solution; a constitutional solution.

“The question is whether or not state taxpayers should foot the bill for what local governments should be doing as a matter of course. The conditions of local government transparency should not require a state subsidy.

“Rather than row back, we should step forward. Senate Democrats will present a Constitutional Amendment for the Legislature’s consideration, with a view to putting the issue before the voters on the June 2014 statewide ballot. In the interim, the State Senate will not revisit the issues in Assembly Bill 76, unless there is evidence that locally-elected officials aren’t complying with the statutes that they were elected and expected to uphold.”

Full video of the Senator Steinberg and Senator Leno speaking at this afternoon’s press conference will be available shortly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnJOgCApYP8

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