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New Law Would Limit California Public Records Act

Jun 13, 2013

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Credit Valley Public Radio

A new California law could make it more difficult to get public records from local governments. A “trailer bill” attached to this year’s state budget would make compliance with certain parts of the California Public Records Act optional.

Phillip Ung with the open government advocacy group Common Cause says Senate Bill 71 would enact drastic changes to the Act.

“SB 71 essentially makes participation in the California Public Records Act voluntary, based on what it is the city wants to do,” says Ung.

The measure requires any government opting out of the act to announce its decision at a public meeting once a year.

Supporters of the bill say it will save California millions of dollars because the state will no longer reimburse local governments and agencies for the costs associated with meeting PRA requests.