Senators Leno and Steinberg Introduce Constitutional Amendment Ensuring Access to Public Records and Meetings

June 21, 2013

SACRAMENTO – Senators Mark Leno and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg have introduced a constitutional amendment that strengthens the California Public Records Act and clarifies the responsibility of local governments to provide access to public records and meetings without the reimbursement of state taxpayer dollars.

SCA 3 specifies that all local government agencies are required to comply with the California Public Records Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act and removes the mandate that the state reimburse local entities for the costs of following these laws.

“All of the provisions of the Public Records Act are critically important to preserving open government, and that is why they belong in the California Constitution,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “SCA 3 permanently upholds and protects a person’s right to inspect public records and attend public meetings, which are principles we all respect and treasure. The state should not have to provide a fiscal incentive to local governments so that they comply with these important transparency laws.”

“As established in state law decades ago, Californians expect and deserve transparency and access to public records,” said Senate President pro Tempore Steinberg, D-Sacramento. “We strongly support the California Public Records Act, and this important principle demands permanent protection through our Constitution. This Constitutional Amendment will give voters the opportunity to strengthen the Act, and to ensure that state taxpayers don’t have to pay for what local governments should be doing on their own.”

If SCA 3 is approved by the required two-thirds vote of the Legislature, it would appear on the June, 2014 ballot.

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