Politics

California known for sunshine, but not in Legislature

California State Capitol Building in Sacramento.
California State Capitol Building in Sacramento.
Jeff's Canon/Flickr Creative Commons

The law that outlines public access to records within the California Legislature remains riddled with loopholes, decades after it was written to provide more visibility into how business is conducted at the Sacramento statehouse.

Peter Scheer of the First Amendment Coalition says there is "zero" transparency into legislative deliberations in the nation's most populous state.

Lawmakers' daily calendars - who they meet with and where they go - are not available for public review unless legislators release them voluntarily.

Correspondence, such as when a lobbyist writes a legislator, remains out of public reach.

Most state agencies are subject to the California Public Records Act. But the Legislature is exempt from those requirements. It operates under its own, narrower set of rules - the so-called Legislative Open Records Act.