California voters handily approved ballot measures Tuesday requiring that local governments pay the cost of making their records and meetings public. Proposition 42, which amends the state constitution to require that governments pay for complying with state transparency laws, led with 60 percent of the vote after 1.8 million ballots counted. It was backed by the state Democratic and Republican parties, taxpayer advocates and labor unions.
Proposition 42 had its origins in a backlash against Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature after they approved a $96.3 billion state budget last year that loosened requirements for local governments to comply with the records and open meeting laws because the state would not reimburse them for the costs. They restored funding and rallied behind Proposition 42 to make sure the episode is never repeated.
Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat who authored the ballot measure, credited bipartisan support and newspaper editorials for the victory. "Apparently California voters greatly value open and transparent government and believe that local agencies do not need a financial incentive to provide it," he said. Continue>>>