Bill Text

Bill Information

Add To My Favorites | print page

SCA-3 Public information.(2013-2014)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
SCA3:v95#DOCUMENT

Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 3
CHAPTER 123

A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Section 3 of Article I and Section 6 of Article XIII B thereof, relating to public information.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 20, 2013. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCA 3, Leno. Public information.
The California Constitution provides that the people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business. The California Constitution requires that the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies be open to public scrutiny. The California Constitution requires that whenever the Legislature or any state agency mandates a new program or higher level of service on any local government, the state shall provide a subvention of funds to reimburse the local government for the costs of the program or increased level of service. The California Constitution exempts certain mandates from the requirement to provide a subvention of funds including local agency compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act).
The California Public Records Act (CPRA) provides that public records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency that retains those records, and that every person has a right to inspect any public record, except as provided. The Brown Act requires each legislative body of a local agency to provide notice of the time and place for holding regular meetings and requires that all meetings of a legislative body be open and public. Under the act, all persons are permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, unless a closed session is authorized.
This measure would require each local agency to comply with the CPRA and the Brown Act, and with any subsequent statutory enactment amending either act, enacting a successor act, or amending any successor act which contains findings demonstrating that the statutory enactment furthers the purposes of the people’s right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business. The measure would specifically exempt mandates contained within the scope of those acts, and certain subsequent statutory enactments that contain findings demonstrating that the statutory enactment furthers those same purposes, from the requirement to provide a subvention of funds.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California at its 2013–14 Regular Session commencing on the third day of December 2012, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, hereby proposes to the people of the State of California, that the Constitution of the State be amended as follows:

First—

 That Section 3 of Article I thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 3.
 (a) The people have the right to instruct their representatives, petition government for redress of grievances, and assemble freely to consult for the common good.
(b) (1) The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.
(2) A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people’s right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access. A statute, court rule, or other authority adopted after the effective date of this subdivision that limits the right of access shall be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
(3) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies the right of privacy guaranteed by Section 1 or affects the construction of any statute, court rule, or other authority to the extent that it protects that right to privacy, including any statutory procedures governing discovery or disclosure of information concerning the official performance or professional qualifications of a peace officer.
(4) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies any provision of this Constitution, including the guarantees that a person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denied equal protection of the laws, as provided in Section 7.
(5) This subdivision does not repeal or nullify, expressly or by implication, any constitutional or statutory exception to the right of access to public records or meetings of public bodies that is in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, including, but not limited to, any statute protecting the confidentiality of law enforcement and prosecution records.
(6) Nothing in this subdivision repeals, nullifies, supersedes, or modifies protections for the confidentiality of proceedings and records of the Legislature, the Members of the Legislature, and its employees, committees, and caucuses provided by Section 7 of Article IV, state law, or legislative rules adopted in furtherance of those provisions; nor does it affect the scope of permitted discovery in judicial or administrative proceedings regarding deliberations of the Legislature, the Members of the Legislature, and its employees, committees, and caucuses.
(7) In order to ensure public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, as specified in paragraph (1), each local agency is hereby required to comply with the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code) and the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), and with any subsequent statutory enactment amending either act, enacting a successor act, or amending any successor act that contains findings demonstrating that the statutory enactment furthers the purposes of this section.

Second—

 That Section 6 of Article XIII B thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 6.
 (a) Whenever the Legislature or any state agency mandates a new program or higher level of service on any local government, the State shall provide a subvention of funds to reimburse that local government for the costs of the program or increased level of service, except that the Legislature may, but need not, provide a subvention of funds for the following mandates:
(1) Legislative mandates requested by the local agency affected.
(2) Legislation defining a new crime or changing an existing definition of a crime.
(3) Legislative mandates enacted prior to January 1, 1975, or executive orders or regulations initially implementing legislation enacted prior to January 1, 1975.
(4) Legislative mandates contained in statutes within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I.
(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), for the 2005–06 fiscal year and every subsequent fiscal year, for a mandate for which the costs of a local government claimant have been determined in a preceding fiscal year to be payable by the State pursuant to law, the Legislature shall either appropriate, in the annual Budget Act, the full payable amount that has not been previously paid, or suspend the operation of the mandate for the fiscal year for which the annual Budget Act is applicable in a manner prescribed by law.
(2) Payable claims for costs incurred prior to the 2004–05 fiscal year that have not been paid prior to the 2005–06 fiscal year may be paid over a term of years, as prescribed by law.
(3) Ad valorem property tax revenues shall not be used to reimburse a local government for the costs of a new program or higher level of service.
(4) This subdivision applies to a mandate only as it affects a city, county, city and county, or special district.
(5) This subdivision shall not apply to a requirement to provide or recognize any procedural or substantive protection, right, benefit, or employment status of any local government employee or retiree, or of any local government employee organization, that arises from, affects, or directly relates to future, current, or past local government employment and that constitutes a mandate subject to this section.
(c) A mandated new program or higher level of service includes a transfer by the Legislature from the State to cities, counties, cities and counties, or special districts of complete or partial financial responsibility for a required program for which the State previously had complete or partial financial responsibility.