Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2028 State agencies: meetings.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) (hereafter “Bagley-Keene”) was intended to implement Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, which states in part, “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.”
(b) Bagley-Keene was written to protect public meetings and public notice and to ensure the transparency of actions taken by state agencies, boards, and commissions.
(c) Californians have the right to participate in state body deliberations. This includes the public’s ability to comment on all agenda items discussed at a meeting of the state body, regardless of whether an item has been discussed previously in a committee of the state body.
(d) The purpose of public notice is so that state bodies give the public adequate time for review of the substance of a state body meeting and for comment.
(e) Public notice must also include any writings or materials provided by a state body’s staff or by a member of the state body to other members of the state body for a noticed meeting of the body.
(f) Bagley-Keene affirms these rights by stating in Section 11120 of the Government Code, “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 Section 11125.7 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11125.7.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the state body shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the state body on each agenda item before or during the state body’s discussion or consideration of the item. This section is not applicable if the agenda item has already been considered by a committee composed exclusively of members of the state body at a public meeting where interested members of the public were afforded the opportunity to address the committee on the item, before or during the committee’s consideration of the item, unless the item has been substantially changed since the committee heard the item, as determined by the state body.  Every notice for a special meeting at which action is proposed to be taken on an item shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the state body concerning that item prior to action on the item. In addition, the notice requirement of Section 11125 shall not preclude the acceptance of testimony at meetings, other than emergency meetings, from members of the public if no action is taken by the state body at the same meeting on matters brought before the body by members of the public.
(b) The state body may adopt reasonable regulations to ensure that the intent of subdivision (a) is carried out, including, but not limited to, regulations limiting the total amount of time allocated for public comment on particular issues and for each individual speaker.
(c) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), when a state body limits time for public comment the state body shall provide at least twice the allotted time to a member of the public who utilizes a translator to ensure that non-English speakers receive the same opportunity to directly address the state body.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply if the state body utilizes simultaneous translation equipment in a manner that allows the state body to hear the translated public testimony simultaneously.
(d) The state body shall not prohibit public criticism of the policies, programs, or services of the state body, or of the acts or omissions of the state body. Nothing in this subdivision shall confer any privilege or protection for expression beyond that otherwise provided by law.
(e) This section is not applicable to closed sessions held pursuant to Section 11126. any of the following: 
(1) Closed sessions held pursuant to Section 11126.
(f) (2)  This section is not applicable to decisions  Decisions  regarding proceedings held pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500), relating to administrative adjudication, or to the conduct of those proceedings.
(g) (3)  This section is not applicable to hearings  Hearings  conducted by the California Victim Compensation Board pursuant to Sections 13963 and 13963.1.
(h) (4)  This section is not applicable to agenda  Agenda  items that involve decisions of the Public Utilities Commission regarding adjudicatory hearings held pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 1701) of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code. For all other agenda items, the commission shall provide members of the public, other than those who have already participated in the proceedings underlying the agenda item, an opportunity to directly address the commission before or during the commission’s consideration of the item.