REINING IN THE POWER OF SPECIAL INTERESTS AND RESTORING
INTEGRITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

The California Legislature Transparency Act will put a stop to legislation getting rammed through the process without public comment or review, and hold lawmakers accountable for serving the people who elect them.

THE PROBLEM

California suffers from some of the lowest voter participation rates in the nation, growing apathy, and an apparent disconnect between the State Capitol and 38 million Californians.

Special interests at the State Capitol often make last-minute changes to legislation to push through political favors without public comment or advance notice. Complex legislation is drafted behind closed doors, dropped onto lawmakers’ desks and put to an immediate vote before anyone can read it. This creates reckless legislation benefitting a few special interests at a cost to the public.

Also, although legislative meetings are supposed to be public under the State Constitution, few people are able to attend those meetings in person. Many proceedings go completely unobserved by the public and press, often leaving no record of what was said. These off-the-record meetings only benefit the lobbyists paid to strike backroom deals while the public interest is left out of the process.

THE SOLUTION

The California Legislature Transparency Act will shine a light on the backroom deals and hold the politicians accountable by enacting two reforms:

  1. Require the Legislature to post each bill online, in its final form, for at least 72 hours before voting on it. This will give legislators time to review the legislation, hear from their constituents, and be held accountable for the laws they pass. This allows exceptions for cases of emergency when legislation is needed immediately.
  2. Require the Legislature to post video of all legislative meetings online within 24 hours. This will bring lawmakers’ work into the light of day and create a record, kept online for at least 20 years so anyone can look up how something got enacted. The Act will also allow the public to post its own videos of legislative proceedings so important votes can be verified by more than one source.

By enacting these commonsense reforms, the California Legislature Transparency Act will enable the public to observe and share what is happening in the Legislature so citizens may finally fully participate in the political process.

Join the Coalition or Request a Petition by emailing Info@HoldPoliticiansAccountable.org