I apologize for making a last-minute request, but I learned about an important opportunity for public comment only late in the day yesterday
As regular readers may know, we make regular use of the California Public Records Act in our reporting on CalPERS and private equity. The PRA, California’s version of FOIA, is stronger than similar laws in most other states. However, we routinely find that state agencies stonewall, engage in over-reaching interpretations of permitted reasons for withholding records and make impermissible redactions. Some like CalSTRS simply ignore requests. We’ve recently caught out the Los Angeles public pension fund LACERA impermissibly withholding or giving inaccurate records four times out of only three requests we have ever made to them. And those are only the ones we were able to identify through other sources!
Sp the PRA is an important law intended to provide for transparency and accountability. Our limited experience shows that California government bodies routinely thwart the statute.
We learned yesterday from the general counsel of the California Newspaper Publishers Association that State Assemblyman Rob Bonta is sponsoring a bill, AB 1479, set to be heard next Tuesday, April 25 in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. It is designed to bar obstructions and unreasonable delays to responding to PRA requests.
I’ve embedded CNPA’s letter of support. I’ve also sent in my own which is also embedded below.
I know this is last minute, but if you are in California and can send in a short note, it would be extremely helpful. Please stress that the citizens a right to have access to public records and that you are distressed to see how regularly government agencies waste taxpayer dollars and thwart transparency by denying, delaying, and/or making incomplete responses to Public Records Act requests.AB 1479 Support copy
AB 1479 Support