It’s been seven months since Assemblymember Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore) introduced ACA 8. This bill would prohibit the Legislature from voting on bills without giving the public 72 hour notice of the content and an opportunity to comment. The bill goes on to require that ALL bills be available in print for at least 24 hours prior to a Legislative vote. You can read the full bill here: ACA 8
But so far, ACA 8 has yet to receive its first hearing. “I find it ironic that a bill that would put an end to back room deals is being held hostage in a back room somewhere,” says Jeffries. “So much for open and transparent government.”
A 72 hour notice of an issue that comes before the Legislature seems only fair. Local Governments and municipalities must adhere to this requirement as established in the Brown Act. Is it not reasonable to expect at least the same high standards from our state leadership? Yet as we witnessed during the recent budget debates, agendas are set in secret, deals are made by the Big 5 (also in secret), and entire tax & spend sections of the budget are literally laid on Legislators desks as they are being asked to vote on them.
Is it any wonder our state is on the state it’s in?
If the majority controlled Legislature truly desires transparency and accountability, they will pass this bill. Unfortunately 53rd District Assemblymember Ted Lieu, who Chairs the Assembly Rules Committee, has seen fit to stall this bill in his committee for months now. Having spoken with Lieu recently on some housing issues, I believe he is a man of honor and integrity who may just need a little reminder that this important bill is languishing in his committee.
Please add your voice of concern to the Chair and the members of the Rules Committee. One click sends an email to all the committee members adding your support to ACA 8. Thank you.
By the way, when you have completed this you’ll get auto-responders from the Rules Committee Members attesting to how swamped they are and encouraging you to go directly to their website to send your email. Don’t be confused – they get ALL their Legislative emails but if you go to their website they’ll ask for your zip code and then tell you they don’t want to hear from you because you aren’t in their district. They’d really rather not hear from anybody but telling you that would be too blatant.