Assessment of California's Open Government Reform Initiatives for 2007

Last week, the California First Amendment Coalition published an assessment of several open government reform bills in California's 2007 legislative session. The report shows that while there were some victories, several important reform proposals failed in the legislature or died on the Governor's desk. I wrote about one such proposal several weeks ago, S.B. 964, which would have added some teeth to California's open records law and closed a significant loophole in the state's open meetings law, that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to sign.

The California First Amendment Coalition reports:

The 2007 legislative session started with a host of promising bills that would have created more transparency and would have reversed recent judicial and Attorney General opinions permitting excessive secrecy. There were some successes and some disappointments. The major disappointment was the failure to overturn the 2006 state Supreme Court decision in Copley Press v. Superior Court, which effectively sealed all police disciplinary records. The major success was legislation creating more oversight and accountability for the UC Regents’ and CSU Trustees’ executive pay committees.

The full assessment can be found here.

(NOTE: The executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, Peter Scheer, is on the board of advisors for the Citizen Media Law Project.)


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