Nervous that voters in November might pass a widely endorsed ballot measure to end eleventh hour surprise legislation in Sacramento, the Democrat majorities in the Senate and Assembly are working on a tamer competing measure they hope will get more votes.
Were it to get the most votes, the citizen initiative-launched California Legislature Transparency Act (CLTA) would not only put a three-day reaction pause (the same as in the Brown Act’s rule for local government agency action) between a proposal’s committee-approved form and its floor vote in either the full Assembly or Senate. It would also:
- require all legislative hearings and floor sessions to be video-recorded, made promptly accessible on the internet, and archived for 20 years; and
- give any citizen spectators in these sessions the right to make their own videos of whatever they can see or hear, and share or publish them as they please, the same as in the Brown Act.
Moreover, the CLTA would become part of the state constitution, and as such could only be amended or repealed by a vote of the people.
Four reform bills seeking the 72-hour delay before a vote in either house have been introduced in the last four years—three by Republicans and one by the author of the current Democrat transparency measure. Not one was even assigned to a committee, much less given a hearing.
In reaction to the Democrats’ recent rush to adopt their own ballot measure, editorials in the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Daily News and the San Francisco Chronicle are crying foul.