Wilk's High-Speed Rail Transparency Bill Passes Assembly Committee

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Scott Wilk's, R- Santa Clarita, bill AB 85 which will stop the California High-Speed Rail Authority from taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to hold closed door meetings without public involvement passed unanimously out of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee.

“The California High-Speed Rail Authority has been exploiting this loophole and denying taxpayers entrance into their meetings,” said Wilk. “It is imperative for the public to be included in meetings that directly affect them. We must urge our government to conduct its business in a visible and transparent manner.”

AB 85 clarifies existing law and defines a “state body” as any multimember committee.

Current law requires all standing committees of a local government entity or of the Legislature to hold meetings that are open to the public whether or not the standing committee takes action. However, existing law is slightly ambiguous for state bodies, which some state agencies are exploiting as a loophole.

Other state agencies others have misused this loophole to circumvent open meeting requirements. Agencies limit their standing committees to no more than two members for the explicit purpose of avoiding open meeting requirements and public scrutiny.