California Proposition 42: Compliance of Local Agencies with Public Records

California Proposition 42, the California Compliance of Local Agencies with Public Act (Senate Constitutional Amendment 3), is on the June 3, 2014 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.[1]

If the measure is approved by the state’s voters, it will require all local agencies to comply with the California Public Records Act (CPRA) and the Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act) and with any subsequent changes to the acts, thus guaranteeing a person’s right to inspect public records and attend public meetings. Prop 42 will also make these laws core government responsibilities, ensuring taxpayers are not paying for items local governments have a duty to provide on their own.

The California Public Records Act (CPRA) provides that public records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of state or local agencies that retain those records and that every person has a right to inspect any public record. The act also requires agencies to establish written guidelines for public access to documents and to post these guidelines at their offices.

The California Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act) requires local legislative bodies to provide notice of the time and place for holding regular meetings and requires that all meetings of a legislative body be open and public. Under the act, all persons are permitted to attend any meeting of the local legislative body, unless a closed session is authorized.

The initiative would result in a fiscal savings for the state government, but would likely result in comparable revenue reductions to local governments.

The measure was sponsored in the California Legislature by State Senator Mark Leno (D-11) as Senate Constitutional Amendment 3.

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