California Voters Reinstate Local Records Law Coverage

6 June 2014

California voters June 3 approved a ballot measure requiring local governments to comply with the California Public Records Act (CPRA).

Proposition 42 received 61.5 percent for, 38.5 percent against.

The measure also mandates that local governments pay the cost of complying with the records and meetings law, an expense the state previously was required to pay, according to an article in the Sacramento Bee.

To save the state money, Gov. Jerry Brown last year made local compliance with the records law optional in order to save the state tens of millions of dollars.

In response, the legislature put the issue on the June 3 ballot. Supporters gave nearly $560,000 through late May in cash and non-monetary contributions to the Yes on 42 campaign.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement:

Prop. 42 was endorsed by good-government groups such as the League of Women Voters, California Common Cause, Californians Aware, as well as unlikely allies such as the California Republican and Democratic Parties, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and many of the state’s largest labor unions. Although the California Green Party came out against it, the San Francisco Green Party, one of the largest chapters in the state, bucked the state party and wholeheartedly supported the reform. Virtually every major newspaper in the state editorialized in favor of it.

Last night’s vote proves that Californians care about transparency. Now that additional protections have been enshrined in the California Constitution, EFF pledges to use the force of law to continue to shine light on ways the government is using technology to collect information on the public, from automatic license plate readers to drones to Stingrays.

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