BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2720
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 2720 (Ting)
          As Amended  August 7, 2014
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |78-0 |(May 15, 2014)  |SENATE: |35-0 |(August 14,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2014)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    G.O.  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires a state body to publicly report any action  
          taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member  
          present for the action.  

           The Senate amendments  made technical changes to correct a  
          drafting error. 

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill is substantially similar to  
          the version passed by the Senate.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None.  The bill is keyed non-fiscal by  
          Legislative Counsel.

           COMMENTS  :   

          Purpose of the bill:  According to the author, current law  
          requires that the meetings of state boards and commissions be  
          open to the public, so that their deliberations and actions are  
          conducted in service of the public's interest.  However, there  
          is no specific requirement that actions taken by state boards  
          and commissions during regular meetings are publicly reported  
          and reveal vote or abstention of each member present for the  
          action.  Consequently, there are multiple examples of state  
          boards and commissions that do not make this important  
          information readily accessible to the public.  Final votes are  
          often reported, for example, as 20 Ayes and 10 Noes, making it  
          impossible to determine how individual members, who represent  
          different industry interests, voted on the action taken.  Some  
          votes do not even report the final vote numerically, only  
          reporting whether the action passed or failed.  If a member of  
          the public was not able to attend the meeting, then it is  
          impossible for that individual to be wholly informed about the  
          outcome of the action taken.








                                                                  AB 2720
                                                                  Page  2


          This bill would strengthen California's commitment to open and  
          transparent governance by requiring all state boards and  
          commissions to count, identify, and publicly disclose all votes  
          on actions taken during meetings.  This bill will ensure that  
          the public has complete information about the decisions made by  
          state bodies, so they are held accountable to the public  
          interest.

          Arguments in support:  The California Taxpayers Association  
          states that all levels of government need to continue to promote  
          a transparent government.  Empowering people to engage in  
          government allows them to become stakeholders in the political  
          process.  Giving access, in turn, allows people to see how their  
          government is run, and how policymakers' decisions will impact  
          their lives.
           
           There is no opposition on file.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Felipe Lopez / G.O. / (916) 319-2531  
          FN: 0004525