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AB-654 Public records: utility customers: disclosure of personal information.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/15/2019 09:00 PM
AB654:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 654


Introduced by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio

February 15, 2019


An act to amend Section 6254.16 of the Government Code, relating to public records.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 654, as introduced, Blanca Rubio. Public records: utility customers: disclosure of personal information.
The California Public Records Act requires that public records, as defined, be open to inspection at all times during the office hours of a state or local agency and grants every person the right to inspect any public record, with specified exceptions. Existing law prohibits the act from being construed to require the disclosure of certain information concerning utility customers of local agencies, but provides for the disclosure of some of that information, including to an officer or employee of another governmental agency when necessary for the performance of its official duties.
This bill would additionally authorize a local agency to disclose the name, utility usage data, and home address of utility customers to an officer or employee of another governmental agency when the disclosure is not necessary for the performance of the other governmental agency’s official duties but is to be used for scientific, educational, or research purposes, and the requesting agency receiving the disclosed material agrees to maintain it as confidential in accordance with specified criteria. To the extent this bill would create new duties for local government agencies with respect to the treatment of confidential material received pursuant to the bill’s provisions, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
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.
The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 6254.16 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6254.16.
 Nothing in this (a) This chapter shall not be construed to require the disclosure of the name, credit history, utility usage data, home address, or telephone number of utility customers of local agencies, except that disclosure of name, utility usage data, and the home address of utility customers of local agencies shall be made available upon request as follows:

(a)

(1) To an agent or authorized family member of the person to whom the information pertains.

(b)

(2) To an officer or employee of another governmental agency when necessary for the performance of its official duties.

(c)

(3) Upon court order or the request of a law enforcement agency relative to an ongoing investigation.

(d)

(4) Upon determination by the local agency that the utility customer who is the subject of the request has used utility services in a manner inconsistent with applicable local utility usage policies.

(e)

(5) Upon determination by the local agency that the utility customer who is the subject of the request is an elected or appointed official with authority to determine the utility usage policies of the local agency, provided that the home address of an appointed official shall not be disclosed without his or her that official’s consent.

(f)

(6) Upon determination by the local agency that the public interest in disclosure of the information clearly outweighs the public interest in nondisclosure.
(b) In addition to the disclosures authorized by subdivision (a), a local agency may disclose the name, utility usage data, home address, or telephone number of utility customers of the local agency to an officer or employee of another governmental agency when the disclosed material is not necessary for the performance of the other governmental agency’s official duties but is to be used for scientific, educational, or other research purposes, and the requesting agency receiving the disclosed material agrees to maintain it as confidential in accordance with subdivision (e) of Section 6254.5. Disclosure pursuant to this subdivision shall be at the sole discretion of the disclosing agency.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which amends Section 6254.16 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:
This act balances the right of the public in general, and governmental agencies in particular, to access relevant information about utility operations and customers, to ensure that appropriate respect is shown for individual privacy.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which amends Section 6254.16 of the Government Code, furthers, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:
This act balances the right of the public in general, and governmental agencies in particular, to access relevant information about utility operations and customers, to ensure that appropriate respect is shown for individual privacy.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district under this act would result from a legislative mandate that is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.