SACRAMENTO, Calif- Critics claim a bill sitting on the governor's desk is another attempt to reduce government transparency. The legislation, part of the state budget bill, would make it optional for cities and counties to comply with certain public records act requests. That includes the requirement that they respond to the request within 10 days.
The state currently has to reimburse local governments for the records requests, so the plan could save the state millions of dollars. But critics, including political watchdogs and even some lawmakers, say the bill could drastically restrict public and media access to public records.
The governor originally proposed a similar plan, but it's not known whether he will sign the bill. Supporters claim nothing will change, even if he signs it. The head of the League of California cities says local officials back open records laws and that they'll continue to fulfill public records requests.