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SB-274 Local government meetings: agenda and documents. (2021-2022)

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Date Published: 10/11/2021 09:00 PM
SB274:v96#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 274
CHAPTER 763

An act to amend Section 54954.1 of the Government Code, relating to local government.

[ Approved by Governor  October 09, 2021. Filed with Secretary of State  October 09, 2021. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 274, Wieckowski. Local government meetings: agenda and documents.
Existing law, the Ralph M. Brown Act, requires meetings of the legislative body of a local agency to be open and public and also requires regular and special meetings of the legislative body to be held within the boundaries of the territory over which the local agency exercises jurisdiction, with specified exceptions. Existing law authorizes a person to request that a copy of an agenda, or a copy of all the documents constituting the agenda packet, of any meeting of a legislative body be mailed to that person.
This bill would require a local agency with an internet website, or its designee, to email a copy of, or website link to, the agenda or a copy of all the documents constituting the agenda packet if the person requests that the items be delivered by email. If a local agency determines it to be technologically infeasible to send a copy of the documents or a link to a website that contains the documents by email or by other electronic means, the bill would require the legislative body or its designee to send by mail a copy of the agenda or a website link to the agenda and to mail a copy of all other documents constituting the agenda packet, as specified. By requiring local agencies to comply with these provisions, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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 54954.1 of the Government Code is amended to read:

54954.1.
 Any person may request that a copy of the agenda, or a copy of all the documents constituting the agenda packet, of any meeting of a legislative body be mailed to that person. If a local agency has an internet website, the legislative body or its designee shall email a copy of, or website link to, the agenda or a copy of all the documents constituting the agenda packet if the person requests that the item or items be delivered by email. If the local agency determines it is technologically infeasible to send a copy of all documents constituting the agenda packet or a link to a website that contains the documents by email or by other electronic means, the legislative body or its designee shall send by mail a copy of the agenda or a website link to the agenda and mail a copy of all other documents constituting the agenda packet in accordance with the mailing requirements established pursuant to this section. If requested, the agenda and documents in the agenda packet shall be made available in appropriate alternative formats to persons 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. Upon receipt of the written request, the legislative body or its designee shall cause the requested materials to be mailed at the time the agenda is posted pursuant to Section 54954.2 and 54956 or upon distribution to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a legislative body, whichever occurs first. Any request for mailed copies of agendas or agenda packets shall be valid for the calendar year in which it is filed, and must be renewed following January 1 of each year. The legislative body may establish a fee for mailing the agenda or agenda packet, which fee shall not exceed the cost of providing the service. Failure of the requesting person to receive the agenda or agenda packet pursuant to this section shall not constitute grounds for invalidation of the actions of the legislative body taken at the meeting for which the agenda or agenda packet was not received.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which amends Section 54954.1 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:
By providing the public the right to receive local legislative body meeting agenda and documents constituting the agenda packet by email, this bill promotes greater public access to the writings of local public officials and local agencies in an economic and efficient manner.

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.