SACRAMENTO –Assemblyman Scott Wilk's, R-Santa Clarita, Assembly Bill 85 unanimously passed out of the Senate late Monday. The bill now heads to the Governor's desk to be considered for his signature that will make it law.
AB 85 clarifies the Bagley-Keene Act so state agencies, such as the California High Speed Rail Authority, will no longer be able to hold closed door meetings without public oversight. This lack of clarity in current law has been exploited by state agencies into a growing practice of establishing two-member bodies in order to avoid compliance with public meetings standards.
“AB 85 will ensure that the state government conducts its business in a transparent manner,” Wilk stated. “There is no reason a meeting should be allowed to be held behind closed doors simply because it has two members rather than three.”
Assemblyman Wilk authored a similar piece of legislation last year—AB 2058. AB 2058 was vetoed by Governor Brown and AB 85 was drafted this year in a way that addresses the issues the Governor cited with AB 2058 in his veto letter.
“I'm hoping the Governor will see the difference in this year's legislation and finally allow Californians the government transparency that our state's constitution promises them,” Wilk said. “At the end of the day, it is imperative that the government conducts its business in a visible and transparent manner at all levels.”