SACRAMENTO – Today Assemblyman Scott Wilk's, R- Santa Clarita, bill to require open meetings passed unanimously out of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee.
“Assembly Bill 2058 makes it definite that all standing committees are subject to the transparency of open meeting regulations, regardless of the size of its membership.” said Wilk.
The ambiguity left in the Bagley-Keene Act is allowing state bodies to deliberate and direct staff behind closed doors. This same loophole was closed in the Brown Act in 1993 and AB 2058 seeks to close the loophole in the Bagley-Keene Act.
The California High Speed Rail Authority, First 5 California, and the California Veterinary Medical Board have all exploited this interpretation that standing committees can hold closed door meetings as long as they contain two rather than three members and do not vote to take action on items. Therefore these agencies limit their standing committees to no more than two members for the explicit purpose of avoiding open meeting requirements.
“The government must conduct its business in a visible and transparent manner at all levels,” said Wilk. “This bill will ensure that all standing committees are subject to open meeting regulations, regardless of the size of its membership.”