July 25, 2012 (Sacramento) – As ECM has reported, the state has suspended Brown Act provisions that previously required public boards to notify the public about agenda items at least 72 hours before meetings.
Now Californians Aware, a watchdog group that protects citizens’ right to open government, has created an online petition with Change.org to “Free the Brown Act from Budget Suspense.” You can urge Assembly speaker to support a constitutional amendment that would restore open government rights for the people by signing the petition here.
The state suspended the meeting notification rules because some boards had presented the state with inflated bills for notification costs. However some local agencies have told ECM that notification costs are in fact minimal with online notifications.
CalAware and other government watchdog groups have warned that while some boards have agreed to voluntarily abide by the old rules, the suspension enables councils and boards to make decisions behind closed doors that affect the public’s interests.