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AB-382 State and local government: alternative investments: public access.(2013-2014)

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Assembly Bill No. 382
CHAPTER 326

An act to amend Section 54957.5 of the Government Code, relating to state and local government.

[ Approved by Governor  September 23, 2013. Filed with Secretary of State  September 23, 2013. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 382, Mullin. State and local government: alternative investments: public access.
Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires state agencies and local agencies to make public records available for inspection, subject to specified criteria, and with specified exceptions. Existing law excludes from disclosure records of public investment funds regarding alternative investments, as defined, unless the information has already been publicly released by the keeper of the information. Existing law defines an alternative investment to mean an investment in a private equity fund, venture fund, hedge fund, or absolute return fund.
Existing law, the Ralph M. Brown Act, requires the meetings of the legislative body of a local agency to be conducted openly and publicly, with specified exceptions. Existing law makes agendas of public meetings and other writings distributed to the members of the governing board disclosable public records, with certain exceptions. Existing law authorizes the legislative body of a local agency that invests pension funds to hold a meeting in closed session to consider the purchase or sale of particular, specific pension fund investments.
This bill would include prescribed documents dealing with alternative investments within the exceptions to the requirement for disclosure of documents related to public meetings.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 54957.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

54957.5.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 6255 or any other law, agendas of public meetings and any other writings, when distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a legislative body of a local agency by any person in connection with a matter subject to discussion or consideration at an open meeting of the body, are disclosable public records under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1), and shall be made available upon request without delay. However, this section shall not include any writing exempt from public disclosure under Section 6253.5, 6254, 6254.3, 6254.7, 6254.15, 6254.16, 6254.22, or 6254.26.
(b) (1) If a writing that is a public record under subdivision (a), and that relates to an agenda item for an open session of a regular meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, is distributed less than 72 hours prior to that meeting, the writing shall be made available for public inspection pursuant to paragraph (2) at the time the writing is distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of the body.
(2)  A local agency shall make any writing described in paragraph (1) available for public inspection at a public office or location that the agency shall designate for this purpose. Each local agency shall list the address of this office or location on the agendas for all meetings of the legislative body of that agency. The local agency also may post the writing on the local agency’s Internet Web site in a position and manner that makes it clear that the writing relates to an agenda item for an upcoming meeting.
(3) This subdivision shall become operative on July 1, 2008.
(c) Writings that are public records under subdivision (a) and that are distributed during a public meeting shall be made available for public inspection at the meeting if prepared by the local agency or a member of its legislative body, or after the meeting if prepared by some other person. These writings shall be made available in appropriate alternative formats upon request by a person with a disability, as required by Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12132), and the federal rules and regulations adopted in implementation thereof.
(d) This chapter shall not be construed to prevent the legislative body of a local agency from charging a fee or deposit for a copy of a public record pursuant to Section 6253, except that a surcharge shall not be imposed on persons with disabilities in violation of Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12132), and the federal rules and regulations adopted in implementation thereof.
(e) This section shall not be construed to limit or delay the public’s right to inspect or obtain a copy of any record required to be disclosed under the requirements of the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1).This chapter shall not be construed to require a legislative body of a local agency to place any paid advertisement or any other paid notice in any publication.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which amends Section 54957.5 of the Government Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
It is in the public interest to ensure that disclosure requirements in the Ralph M. Brown Act are consistent with those in the California Public Records Act.