Today's Law As Amended

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AB-684 California Coastal Commission: ex parte communications: database.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.

 Section 30324 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

30324.
 (a) No commission member, nor any interested person, shall conduct an ex parte communication unless the commission member fully discloses and makes public the ex parte communication by providing a full report of the communication to the executive director within seven days after the communication or, if the communication occurs within seven days of the next commission hearing, to the commission on the record of the proceeding at that hearing.
(b) (1) The commission shall adopt standard disclosure forms for reporting ex parte communications which that  shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following information:
(A) The date, time, and location of the communication.
(B) (i) The identity of the person or persons initiating and the person or persons receiving the communication.
(ii) The identity of the person on whose behalf the communication was made.
(iii) The identity of all persons present during the communication.
(C) A complete, comprehensive description of the content of the ex parte communication, including a complete set of all text and graphic material that was part of the communication.
(2) The executive director shall place in the public record any report of an ex parte communication.
(c) Communications shall cease to be ex parte communications when fully disclosed and placed in the commission’s official record.
(d) (1) The commission shall, no later than July 1, 2018, develop, implement, and maintain a publicly searchable database for the online reporting of ex parte communications required to be disclosed pursuant to this section, containing the information required in subdivision (b). The database shall be regularly updated to include all information pertaining to ex parte communications between commission members and interested persons, and any disclosure of an ex parte communication shall be made available to the public on the online database prior to the beginning of the hearing at which the matter to which the ex parte communication pertains will be discussed.
(2) Commission members shall verbally disclose at the hearing all ex parte communications that occurred on any given item to be heard at the hearing, including the identity of the person or persons engaging in the communication, prior to that item being heard at the hearing.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2018, and as of January 1, 2019, is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 30324 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

30324.
 (a) No commission member, nor any interested person, shall conduct an ex parte communication unless the commission member fully discloses and makes public the ex parte communication pursuant to the requirements of this section.
(b) The commission shall adopt standard disclosure forms for reporting ex parte communications that shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following information:
(1) The date, time, and location of the communication.
(2) (A) The identity of the person or persons initiating and the person or persons receiving the communication.
(B) The identity of the person on whose behalf the communication was made.
(C) The identity of all persons present during the communication.
(3) A complete, comprehensive description of the content of the ex parte communication, including a complete set of all text and graphic material that was part of the communication.
(c) Communications shall cease to be ex parte communications when fully disclosed and placed in the commission’s official record.
(d) (1) The commission shall develop, implement, and maintain a publicly searchable database for the online reporting of ex parte communications required to be disclosed pursuant to this section, containing the information required in subdivision (b). The database shall be regularly updated to include all information pertaining to ex parte communications between commission members and interested persons. All disclosures of an ex parte communication shall be made available to the public on the online database within seven days of the date the communication takes place. For ex parte communications that take place less than seven days prior to the hearing on the matter, the communications shall be posted on the online database prior to the beginning of the hearing at which the matter to which the ex parte communication pertains will be discussed.
(2) Commission members shall be personally responsible for ensuring the database is updated with their ex parte communications. The commission shall provide training and technical support to a commissioner, upon request.
(3) Commission members shall verbally disclose at the hearing that all ex parte communications that have occurred on any given item to be heard at the hearing are available on the database, prior to that item being heard at the hearing.
(e) If, due to a problem with the server on which the database is managed, a commission member is unable to post an ex parte communication on the database at least two days prior to the hearing on the matter, the commission member shall state the reason for the inability to post notice of the ex parte communication and shall verbally disclose the ex parte communication on the record of the hearing prior to that item being heard at the hearing. A record of the ex parte communication shall also be posted on the database as soon as possible after any database problem is resolved.
(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2018.