SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 53, a measure that adds transparency to government at all levels, has cleared the Senate Governmental Organization Committee by a vote of 14-0, according to California Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.
“Government should operate in complete transparency and it does not,” Wilk said in a statement Wednesday. “It is complete hypocrisy that the state has required more rigid standards for local government than it does for itself. SB 53 will close the loophole that allows state agencies to skirt the spirit of our transparency laws. This measure is about ensuring the public has access to government at every level.”
Existing law is clear that the Legislature, as well as all local governmental bodies, must give proper notice and allow for public participation in their meetings. SB 53 would clarify existing statute and close the loophole that has allowed some state entities to meet behind closed doors.
“This week is Sunshine Week, a national celebration of the importance of transparency and accountability in government,” Wilk said. “The Committee’s action moves us one step closer to shedding some additional sunshine on all facets of government, and that’s good for democracy.”
After passing through the Governmental Organization Committee, SB 53 now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee to review its fiscal impact.