Public Records Act

EDITORIAL: PUBLIC RECORDS ACT GUTTED IN STATE BUDGET—ASK GOVERNOR TO RESTORE YOUR RIGHTS

 

 

Update June 20, 2013 4 p.m. -- The Sacramento Bee reports that due to mounting public pressure, the Governor will abandon efforts to weaken the Public Records Act.  The Bee also reports that Democrats plan to push for a state Constitutional amendment to assure public access to government documents and require local agencies to pay the costs, thwarting efforts by local governments that have sought reimbursement from the state for costs of complying with the decades-old law.

 

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

June 20, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A budget now on the Governor’s desk would gut the California Public Records Act, eliminating your right to access  public records.  Donna Frye, president of Californians Aware (CalAware), warns, “This is where we are today, facing a Public Records Act wipe-out unless Governor Brown vetoes that portion of the budget trailer bills and restores all the provisions currently in place.”

CalAware, a watchdog group dedicated to protecting open government, urges  citizens to call the Governor today at (916)445-2841 and ask the following:

OFFICIALS WRESTLE WITH DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE EMAILS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The First Amendment Coalition has issued advice to public officials in light of a court ruling that found private e-mails used by San Jose city officials to discuss public business must be disclosed if a Public Records Act request is received.   The ruling is on appeal and is expected to be upheld, according to legal experts, which would set a statewide precedent.

“Public officials beware: The appeal courts’ affirmance is likely to apply to all government emails, not just to emails written after the courts’ decision," the First Amendment Coalition warns. "That means the emails you write today, using a private account to discuss government business, will have to be disclosed in the future.”

The ruling poses as quandary for some local governing boards, such as the Alpine Community Planning Group, which relies entirely on private e-mail addresses for communications.