1st Amendment News

CPRA Budget Bill threat update: Editorials skewer “appalling,” “unbridled arrogance” of legislative “sneak attack”

This morning Gov. Brown received the first bundle of letters in response to FAC’s call for him to Veto the CPRA Budget Bill threats, and by this afternoon, newspaper editorial writers across the state had joined the growing chorus of voices urging Brown to undo what the legislature had just done to Californians’ right to access public records.  Here are links to the editorials and if you want to add your voice, we’re planning on sending another batch to letters before the end of the week. Here’s what you need to know.

Mercury News editorial: Public Records Act must be restored    “If state lawmakers care one iota about transparency — or if Californians hammer them for what they’ve done — they will reverse this appalling action.

Press-Enterprise Editorial: Preserve public rights to view government documents  “The state’s ostensible goal is to save money, because the provisions are mandates — state-required duties for which the state is supposed to reimburse local governments. But any savings is conjecture, as the state does not even have an estimate of how much these requirements actually cost. The Commission on State Mandates is still in the process of deriving a figure. And any cost is likely to be minimal compared to the new $96.3 billion general fund budget.”

Fresno Bee Editorial: Tell Brown to veto attack on Public Records Act:  “The unbridled arrogance of government is on full display, here in California and across our great land. In the name of security and the war on terror, the federal government is prying ever deeper into the lives of law-abiding Americans, eroding civil liberties and owning up to the deeds only after a whistle-blower calls them to the public’s attention.

Visalia Times Delta RIP, California Public Records Act   “It may be that all local government agencies, from counties to the smallest special districts, will decide that the right thing is not to mess with the Public Records Act. We hope it turns out that way. But it’s as likely that some local governments will pick and choose, deciding to maintain some of the current Public Records Act while dumping the rest.”

Inland Daily Bulletin Editorial: California legislature launches sneak attack on government accountability   “Since when is gutting the public’s right to know about its own government part of California’s annual state budget process? Since one year ago, actually. And now it’s a trend, with a sneaky and irresponsible rider slipped into this year’s budget package at the 11th hour. The budget rider bill from the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee blasts a hole in the state’s Public Records Act in the name of saving a few bucks.”

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