BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Declaring that we need more, not less governmental transparency, Leticia Perez today called on Governor Jerry Brown to veto AB 76, which would allow local governments to limit access to public records.
Going one step further, Supervisor Perez also suggested that she and Governor Brown sponsor a statewide initiative to put every California government agency, including the State Legislature, under the California Open Records Act.
AB 76, which awaits Governor Brown’s signature, would make it optional for local governments to comply with many important provisions of the California Public Records Act.
In her letter to Governor Brown, Perez said, “Government should and must be open and transparent in order to be held fully accountable by the public. We all should resist any effort to weaken California’s Open Records Act.”
“If fully implemented by local governments, AB 76 will gut the Open Records Act. I can assure you that had I been in the State Senate, I would have voted “No” on this bill,” Leticia added.
Among the more objectionable sections of AB 76 is a provision that would remove the mandate that local governments provide public documents within 10 days, which effectively means that agencies could take years to provide requested material.
Supervisor Perez concluded, “As long as I am a member of the Kern County Board of Supervisors, I will resist any efforts to weaken our Public Record Act. We are spending the taxpayers’ money. Government must be open and transparent.”