Under current law, local governments in California have ten days to respond to requests for public records. If the request is delayed or rejected, officials must explain why. However, that could change in a few days. Governor Brown is expected to sign the state budget this week, and within the budget is a change to the California Public Records Act (CRPA). It says Sacramento no longer has to fund a few core provisions of the CRPA. Local governments, including cities like Bell, will not be obligated to respond in a timely fashion to requests for information.
The Department of Finance says this does not change the fundamental right to access information, but it simply removes taxpayers' funding of certain aspects. Is this about the budget or about transparency?
Brian Uhler, Assigned to Local Government Issues for the Legislative Analyst’s Office
Jim Ewert, General Counsel and Legislative Advocate, California Newspaper Publishers Association