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SB-529 Inspection of public records.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2017 09:00 PM
SB529:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 529


Introduced by Senator Nguyen

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Section 17100 of the Elections Code, and to add Section 84226 to the Government Code, relating to public records.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 529, as introduced, Nguyen. Inspection of public records.
Existing law requires filing officers to hold nomination documents and signatures in lieu of filing fee petitions for a specified time. Existing law limits public access to these documents and allows only for the public to view them.
This bill would require that nomination documents and signatures in lieu of filing fee petitions be furnished promptly upon request, and it would clarify that a member of the public need not request these records pursuant to the California Public Records Act.
Existing law, the Political Reform Act of 1974, provides that every report and statement filed pursuant to the act is a public record that must be open for public inspection and reproduction during regular business hours, commencing as soon as practicable, but not later than the 2nd business day following the date received. The act prohibits imposing any conditions upon persons seeking to inspect reports and statements.
This bill would specifically require that recipient committee campaign statements filed with local filing officers under the Political Reform Act be furnished promptly upon request, and it would clarify that a request to inspect or review these statements need not be made pursuant to the California Public Records Act.
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.
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 Political Reform Act of 1974, an initiative measure, provides that the Legislature may amend the act to further the act’s purposes upon a 2/3 vote of each house of the Legislature and compliance with specified procedural requirements.
This bill would declare that it furthers the purposes of the act.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 17100 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

17100.
 (a) All nomination documents and signatures in lieu of filing fee petitions filed in accordance with this code shall be held by the officer with whom they are filed during the term of office for which they are filed and for four years after the expiration of the term.
(b) Thereafter, the documents and petitions shall be destroyed as soon as practicable unless they either are in evidence in some action or proceeding then pending or unless the elections official has received a written request from the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Fair Political Practices Commission, a district attorney, a grand jury, or the governing body of a county, city and county, or district, including a school district, that the documents and petitions be preserved for use in a pending or ongoing investigation into election irregularities, the subject of which relates to the placement of a candidate’s name on the ballot, or in a pending or ongoing investigation into a violation of the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Government Code).
(c) Public access to the documents described in subdivision (a) shall be limited to viewing the documents only. However, these documents shall be furnished promptly upon request and without requiring that the records be requested pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code). The public may shall not copy or distribute copies of the documents described in subdivision (a) that contain signatures of voters.

SEC. 2.

 Section 84226 is added to the Government Code, to read:

84226.
 In accordance with Section 81008, a recipient committee campaign statement filed with a local filing officer pursuant to this article shall be furnished promptly upon request and without requiring that the statement be requested pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

SEC. 3.

 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.

SEC. 4.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Sections 1 and 2 of this act, which amend Section 17100 of the Elections Code and add Section 84226 to the Government Code, respectively, each 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:
In order to ensure adequate transparency in political campaigns, it is necessary for the public to have prompt access to documents relating to the conduct of candidates and campaigns.

SEC. 5.

 The Legislature finds and declares that this bill furthers the purposes of the Political Reform Act of 1974 within the meaning of subdivision (a) of Section 81012 of the Government Code.