Democrats: "Too much information only confuses the public."
- Scumbag Leftists pass a law making it easier for cities and counties to hide public records from the media and the voters.
Corruptus in Extremis - Cities and counties could dramatically restrict the information they release to the public without explanation under a bill approved by the People's State Legislature and sent to People's Republic Governor Jerry Brown as part of the state budget package.
The change makes it optional for local governments to comply with deadlines and other rules when they receive requests for public records. Current law requires them to respond within 10 days and cite reasons for needing more time or rejecting a request.
Open government advocates said if Brown signs the legislation into law, it would remove significant tools for the public to ensure that local governments are operating transparently reports the Merced Sun Star.
"What I think it means is for the indefinite future, any local agency that for whatever reason chooses to ignore a Public Records Act request will not suffer any particular legal pressure to comply," said Terry Francke, general counsel of Californians Aware, a group that advocates for government transparency.
The California Newspaper Publishers Association said the legislation will have a chill on open records access and could lead to expensive lawsuits from those seeking records.
"The only way that a requester is going to be able to find out why, or even if, their request is denied is to litigate it," Ewert said.
Francke said most local agencies do their best to comply with the law, but some at both the state and local level "will do anything to delay or evade or resist public records requests."
"It's those people with something to hide that are going to," he said.