Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), a measure to ensure transparency for state agencies, has unanimously passed the Senate Floor, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, representing the 21st Senate District, announced Monday.
“SB 53 is about protecting the public’s right to know. State agencies have been exploiting a loophole for years that is allowing them to hold meetings out of the public eye,” Wilk said. “The Senate’s vote today sends a loud message – we expect the stringent transparency rules Sacramento requires of local governments, apply to Sacramento’s state agencies as well.”
Under existing law, all bodies of the Legislature, as well as all local governmental bodies, must publicly post meeting notices and allow for public participation.
However, a loophole in current statute allows executive bodies to skirt these open meeting requirements by forming small, two-member committees that can meet in private – despite wielding significant amounts of influence in state government.
“I am pleased my Senate colleagues recognize the importance of this issue,” Wilk said. “Our vote today demonstrates a clear consensus that greater transparency leads to a more accountable government – a government that can better serve its people and address their needs.”
SB 53 will go to the Assembly for consideration.