California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1707

Introduced by Assembly Member Linder

January 25, 2016

An act to amend Section 6255 of the Government Code, relating to public records.


AB 1707, as introduced, Linder. Public records: response to request.

The California Public Records Act requires state and local agencies to make public records available for inspection, unless an exemption from disclosure applies. The act requires a response to a written request for public records that includes a denial of the request, in whole or in part, to be in writing.

This bill instead would require that response to be in writing regardless of whether the request was in writing. The bill would require that written response additionally to include a list that contains the title or other identification of each record requested but withheld due to an exemption and the specific exemption that applies to that record. Because local agencies would be required to comply with this new requirement, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.

This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 6255 of the Government Code is amended
2to read:



(a) The agency shall justify withholding any record by
4demonstrating that the record in question is exempt under express
5provisions of this chapter or that on the facts of the particular case
6the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly
7outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.

8(b) A response tobegin delete a writtenend deletebegin insert anyend insert request for inspection or copies
9of public records that includes a determination that the request is
10denied, in whole or in part, shall be in writing.begin insert That written
11responseend insert
begin insert also shall include a list that containsend insertbegin insert both of the
12following:end insert

begin insert

13(1) The title or other identification of each record requested but
14withheld due to an exemption.

end insert
begin insert

15(2) The specific exemption that applies to that record.

end insert

SEC. 2.  

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of
17this act, which amends Section 6255 of the Government Code,
18furthers, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b)
19of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes
20of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public
21access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of
22local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7)
23of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California
24Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:

25Because the people have the right of access to information
26concerning the conduct of the people’s business, requiring local
27agencies to provide a written response to any request for public
28records that is denied and to include in that response a list of each
29record being withheld due to an exemption from disclosure and
P3    1the specific exemption that applies furthers the purposes of Section
23 of Article 1.


SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
4Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
5the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
6district under this act would result from a legislative mandate that
7is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section
83 of Article I of the California Constitution.