Gov. Brown, don't cut California's open meeting laws

Ben Shore's picture

Just came across this article (http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_17394857) and am honestly a little shocked to see that Governor Brown wants to suspend funding for local governments open meetings. The legislature already suspended the reimbursements to local governments for posting public notices but now Brown wants to extend it. Sure, lots of cuts need to be made to balance the budget, especially if voters don't pass Brown's proposed tax increases. But this doesn't seem like the place to be cutting funding. A true and free democracy is premised on the inclusion of the public in the process of governing. We cannot possibly expect government to work effectively (as if it does already...) behind closed doors without anyone in the meetings to debate. Additionally, it just doesn't seem to me that this process costs much anyway. Some photocopies, a few push-pins to hang them up - how much is that? It's understandable that the state is pushing these expenses back on the local governments instead of simply reimbursing them (because after all, local governments could charge for staff time or other expenses they deem to be a part of the process that may actually not be) but it seems like such a small amount anyway. Please Governor Brown, keep the sunshine shining on our local governments.

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