Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature had just sealed a $96.3 billion state budget last year when an outcry erupted over a provision that allowed local governments to deny requests for public documents because the state wouldn't reimburse them.
They restored funding and now support a ballot measure that aims to make sure the episode is never repeated. Proposition 42 would amend the state constitution to require cities, counties, school districts and other local agencies to comply with state laws to make documents available and open their meetings to the public. They also would be required to cover the costs for doing so.
The June 3 ballot measure is backed by unusual bedfellows, including the state Democratic and Republican parties, taxpayer advocates and labor unions. The state Assembly voted 78-0 and Senate voted 37-0 to qualify it for a statewide vote. Continue>>>