California legislators approve dozens of resolutions every year, honoring individual achievements and commemorating events. One of those events is Sunshine Week, a national initiative sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and supported by other organizations, to raise awareness about the importance and value of open government and public access to government records. It appears, however, that the California resolution — Assembly Concurrent Resolution 25 — want too far for someone’s liking.
When the measure was introduced by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego, ACR 25 required lawmakers “to make available to the public all legislative information at its disposal” and resolved that “the California Legislature shall make available to the public all legislative information tools at its disposal.” But, the Sacramento Bee reported, the language relating to the Legislature was deleted, and no one in Maienschein’s office responded to the newspaper’s inquiries about the change.
You may not be surprised to learn that the law governing public access to legislative records is far less stringent than the California Public Records Act, which governs other public agencies. And that deserves a thumbs down.