BILL NUMBER: SB 1732	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  MARCH 25, 2008

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Romero
    (   Principal coauthor:   Assembly Member
  Lieber   ) 
   (Coauthor: Senator McClintock)
   (  Coauthors:   Assembly Members
  Lieber     and
Portantino   Coauthor:   Assembly Member 
 Portantino  )

                        FEBRUARY 22, 2008

   An act to amend Section 54952.2 of, and to add Section 6252.7 to,
the Government Code, relating to local agencies.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 1732, as amended, Romero. Local agencies. 
   The 
    (1)     The Ralph M. Brown Act
requires that all meetings of a legislative body of a local agency be
open and public and all persons be permitted to attend unless a
closed session is authorized. The act prohibits any use of direct
communication, personal intermediaries, or technological devices that
is employed by a majority of the members of the legislative body to
develop a collective concurrence as to action to be taken on an item,
with an exception for an authorized teleconference. An appellate
court in Wolfe v. City of Fremont (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 533 held
that a violation of this prohibition occurs only if a series of
meetings by members of a body results in a collective concurrence.
   This bill would instead prohibit a majority of members of a
legislative body of a local agency from using  , outside a
meeting authorized by the act,  a series of communications of
any kind, directly or through intermediaries, to discuss, deliberate,
or take action on any item of business that is within the subject
matter jurisdiction of the legislative body. It also would state the
Legislature's declaration that it disapproves the holding of the
court in the case named above to the extent it construes the
prohibition on serial meetings and would state its intention that the
changes made by this bill supersede that holding.  It would also
state the Legislature's intention that the changes made by this bill
do not prevent a local agency staff official,   employee,
or individual from engaging in separate conversations or
communications, outside of a meeting authorized by the Brown Act,
with members of a legislative body in order to answer questions or
provide information regarding a matter that is within the subject
matter jurisdiction of the local agency, provided that the local
agency staff official, employee, or individual does not communicate
to members of the legislative body the comments or position of any
other member or members of the   body.  
   The 
    (2)     The  California Public Records
Act requires state and local agencies to make their records
available for public inspection and to make copies available upon
request and payment of a fee unless they are exempt from disclosure.
The Ralph M. Brown Act provides that, notwithstanding any other
provision of law, agendas of public meetings and any other writings,
when distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a
legislative body of a local agency by any person in connection with a
matter subject to discussion or consideration at a public meeting of
the body, are disclosable public records under the California Public
Records Act unless exempt from disclosure under that act. The Ralph
M. Brown Act requires that these writings be made available for
public inspection at the meeting if prepared by the local agency or a
member of its legislative body, or after the meeting if prepared by
some other person.
   This bill would provide that, notwithstanding any other provision
of law, when the members of a legislative body of a local agency are
authorized to access a writing of the body or of the agency as
permitted by law in the administration of their duties, the local
agency shall not discriminate between or among any of those members
as to which writing or portion thereof is made available or when it
is made available  , and shall not charge any of those
members a fee to inspect or obtain a copy of that writing  .

   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  (a) The Legislature hereby declares that it disapproves
the court's holding in Wolfe v. City of Fremont (2006) 144
Cal.App.4th 533, 545, fn. 6, to the extent that it construes the
prohibition against serial meetings by a legislative body of a local
agency, as contained in the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing
with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the
Government Code, to require that a series of individual meetings by
members of a body actually result in a collective concurrence to
violate the prohibition rather than also including the process of
developing a collective concurrence as a violation of the
prohibition.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the changes made by
Section 3 of this act supersede the court's holding described in
subdivision (a). 
   (c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the changes made by
Section 3 of this act do not prevent a local agency staff official,
employee, or individual from engaging in separate conversations or
communications, outside of a meeting authorized by the Ralph M. Brown
Act, with members of a legislative body in order to answer questions
or provide information regarding a matter that is within the subject
matter jurisdiction of the local agency, provided that the local
agency staff official, employee, or individual does not communicate
to members of the legislative body the comments or position of any
other member or members of the legislative body. 
  SEC. 2.  Section 6252.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:
   6252.7.  Notwithstanding Section 6252.5 or any other provision of
law, when the members of a legislative body of a local agency are
authorized to access a writing of the body or of the agency as
permitted by law in the administration of their duties, the local
agency, as defined in Section 54951, shall not discriminate between
or among any of those members as to which writing or portion thereof
is made available or when it is made  available, and shall
not charge any of those members a fee to inspect or obtain a copy of
that writing.   available. 
  SEC. 3.  Section 54952.2 of the Government Code is amended to read:

   54952.2.  (a) As used in this chapter, "meeting" means any
congregation of a majority of the members of a legislative body at
the same time and location, including teleconference location as
permitted by Section 54953, to hear, discuss, deliberate, or take
action on any item that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of
the legislative body.
   (b) A majority of the members of a legislative body shall not 
, outisde a meeting authorized by this act,  use a series of
communications of any kind, directly or through intermediaries, to
discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item of business that is
within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.
   (c) Nothing in this section shall impose the requirements of this
chapter upon any of the following:
   (1) Individual contacts or conversations between a member of a
legislative body and any other person that do not violate subdivision
(b).
   (2) The attendance of a majority of the members of a legislative
body at a conference or similar gathering open to the public that
involves a discussion of issues of general interest to the public or
to public agencies of the type represented by the legislative body,
provided that a majority of the members do not discuss among
themselves, other than as part of the scheduled program, business of
a specified nature that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of
the local agency. Nothing in this paragraph is intended to allow
members of the public free admission to a conference or similar
gathering at which the organizers have required other participants or
registrants to pay fees or charges as a condition of attendance.
   (3) The attendance of a majority of the members of a legislative
body at an open and publicized meeting organized to address a topic
of local community concern by a person or organization other than the
local agency, provided that a majority of the members do not discuss
among themselves, other than as part of the scheduled program,
business of a specific nature that is within the subject matter
jurisdiction of the legislative body of the local agency.
   (4) The attendance of a majority of the members of a legislative
body at an open and noticed meeting of another body of the local
agency, or at an open and noticed meeting of a legislative body of
another local agency, provided that a majority of the members do not
discuss among themselves, other than as part of the scheduled
meeting, business of a specific nature that is within the subject
matter jurisdiction of the legislative body of the local agency.
   (5) The attendance of a majority of the members of a legislative
body at a purely social or ceremonial occasion, provided that a
majority of the members do not discuss among themselves business of a
specific nature that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of
the legislative body of the local agency.
   (6) The attendance of a majority of the members of a legislative
body at an open and noticed meeting of a standing committee of that
body, provided that the members of the legislative body who are not
members of the standing committee attend only as observers.