Editorial: Vote YES on Prop 42 if you value open-government. Vote no if you prefer secrecy

Submitted by LDieringer on Wed, 05/14/2014 - 7:39am

Prop 42, on the ballot for California’s June 4 election, will amend the Constitution to assure that local governments are legally bound to observe open-government requirements. If you prefer transparency to secrecy in your city government, local school board or county government, then the choice is clear: You should vote for Prop 42.

Prop 42 solves a problem that has repeatedly undercut enforcement of California’s open meetings law (the Brown Act) and open records law (the Public Records Act). Because these laws are “mandated” by the Legislature, the state must reimburse local governments for their costs. Although the costs are small (more on that below), local governments and the state inevitably disagree on the amount of reimbursement, and those disagreements, in turn, provide legal cover for local governments to suspend their compliance with parts or all the Brown Act and Public Records Act.

Prop 42 solves this problem once and for all by converting the existing legislative mandate (which has to be reimbursed by the state) into a constitutional mandate (which does not). Prop 42, in other words, unequivocally reallocates these costs to local governments. Continue>>>
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