Express Joins Coalition of Media Organizations Protesting the Gutting of California’s Public Records Act

In case you missed it, California’s Public Records Act is in danger of being gutted, and the impact on the public’s right to know could be severe. State legislative leaders — including East Bay state Senators Loni Hancock and Mark DeSaulnier — quietly tucked a last-minute bill that weakens the transparency law into the package of budget legislation for the next fiscal year.

Despite outrage over the bill, Governor Jerry Brown strongly indicated last night that he plans to sign the legislation, which proponents argue will save the state from having to reimburse local governments millions of dollars a year when they comply with the Public Records Act. The bill would allow local governments and public agencies to reject public records requests without citing a reason, and would let local governments ignore the current requirement that they respond to requests within ten days.

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