SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), a measure that would add transparency to California government at all levels, has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 6-0, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, representing the 21st Senate District and author of the bill, said Monday.
“Californians deserve an open and transparent government. My bill ensures every level of government – including the state – is required to be equally transparent to the public,” Wilk said in a statement. “Today we are one step closer to permanently closing a loophole that allows some state agencies to make decisions behind closed doors.”
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 a loophole that has allowed some state entities to meet behind closed doors.
The Senate Appropriations Committee’s jurisdiction is assessing the fiscal impact of legislation. Only the state agencies currently exploiting the loophole would incur additional expenses, so the impact on the state as a whole is minor.
“Transparency equals accountability,” Wilk said. “The Committee’s action today underscores the legislature’s commitment to an open government and moves us one step closer to shedding some additional sunshine on all facets of government. That is good for democracy.”
SB 53’s next stop is the Senate Floor.