CA bill would strengthen public’s right to comment before votes

By Katy Grimes | Cal Watchdog

“The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them,” says California Code Section 54950 of The Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s bedrock open-government law.

But that’s not always the way the system works. Whether it’s deliberate or not, interested members of the public aren’t always heard prior to a legislative body’s vote on an item.

A bill to remedy this by changing the open meetings act was passed 6-0 by the Assembly Local Government Committee on Wednesday and is headed to the Assembly floor for a vote. The measure would expand the grounds under which a district attorney or any interested party could seek to have a government action declared null and void because of a failure to provide adequate public testimony or other input. It also provides for tougher penalties against public officials who block public participation.

at Cal Watchdog.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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