Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
Supporters of a ballot measure aiming for the November election are working feverishly to place an initiative that would shine a greater spotlight on our Legislature in Sacramento.
The California Legislature Transparency Act would require audiovisual recording of all public proceedings accessible on the Internet within 24 hours, and be archived for at least 20 years after. It also requires the cost of compliance to come from the Legislature’s existing budget.
One piece that especially garnered the support of the California Chamber of Commerce would prohibit the Legislature from voting on a bill until it has been published online in its final form for at least 72 hours, with exceptions for emergencies such as natural disasters.
The 72-hour rule would go a long way in giving legislators time to review bills and hear from their constituents.
In its natural ebb-and-flow it seems the Legislature trends toward less transparency, especially with the popularity of “gut and amend,” which takes existing bills and reworks them last minute, especially in the waning hours of a session.
Voters deserve to see what business their elected officials are conducting, and this bill could create lasting change in Sacramento. Supporters have gathered about 25 percent of the signatures needed, according to the CalChamber.
Here’s hoping the California Legislature Transparency Act makes the cut.