Susan Luzzaro 6:32 p.m., March 16
- Community Blog
- I've Got Issues
California Prop 30 ends the Brown Act Open Government laws
The Proposition 30 rhetoric is getting quite heated as Californian's argue about whether or not to give Sacramento politicians even more money with not only income tax hikes but also a sales tax hike which effects everyone. But one glaring part of Prop 30 being ignored is the part where California Prop 30 ends the Brown Act Open Government laws. How is that possible you ask?
"Finally, Prop 30 would eliminate the state’s normal reimbursements to local governments for the costs of certain open and public meeting requirements of the Brown Act." link text
The Ralph M. Brown Act, was an act of the California State Legislature, authored by Assemblymember Ralph M. Brown and passed in 1953, that guaranteed the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. It was put in place in response to mounting public concerns over informal, undisclosed meetings held by local elected officials in secret. It is in short the only thing that protects California citizens from legislators meeting in secret and making deals behind closed doors.
The state recently found a way around this cumbersome measure by removing funding for the Act thus making it unenforceable. "Sorry California we are in a budget crisis so we have to cut the funds that keep us from having closed door meetings in secret and you pesky taxpayers seeing what we are doing with all your money".
So this language is troubling to say the least. If the state doesn't fund the Brown Act how can we legally enforce it?
So why in the WORLD would this measure intended to fund education destroy California's critical Brown Act funding which prevents special interests from meeting with government officials in secret?
The measure will bring in billions of dollars that have been promised to schools and privately owned hospitals, yet we will need to cut funding to local governments for "public meeting requirements"?
Why wouldn't the measure instead guarantee Brown Act funding? This should sound alarms with California voters if they weren't already suspicious of the ambiguous and deceptive measure that simply allocates billions in revenue to the states general fund.
Its astounding that such a manipulative and anti-democratic prop would have 50% support. Please look at this prop very closely. Schools may see increased funding the first year but the prop changes our Constitution and ensures schools will always be underfunded. The language also clearly states the money can go to the General Fund and even if money is mandated to go to schools that just allows them to raid the existing General Funds allocated for schools and give them to something else. (Note: see the lottery).This is the wrong answer to help schools and teachers.