California Senator Introduces Government Transparency Bill

Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, introduced a bill Monday to strengthen transparency measures in all state agencies, including the High-Speed Rail Authority.

Senate Bill 53 would require state agencies to make all committee meetings public and stop them from using a loophole that allows them to have meetings “behind closed doors,” according to officials.

SB 53 is Wilk’s first order of business for the 2019-20 legislative session.

“The scathing audit of the High-Speed Rail Authority last month underscores how far off track an agency can go when there is not appropriate transparency,” Wilk said in a statement released Monday. “Transparency equals accountability and in the case of the bullet train, the lack of transparency has cost the taxpayers billions of dollars. This has to stop.”

The bill clarifies existing law and defines a “state body” as any multi-member committee.

Current law requires all standing committees of a local government entity or of the Legislature to hold meetings that are open to the public, regardless of whether or not the standing committee takes action. (Read more…)