California Legislature Transparency Act to Launch Signature Drive for the November 2016 Statewide Ballot

Initiative receives its official Title and Summary from the State Attorney General for circulation among voters. The Act would increase transparency and accountability in the State Legislature.

(SACRAMENTO, California) – December 17, 2015 – An initiative to increase government transparency and accountability took a critical step yesterday toward placement before the voters on the November 2016 ballot. Filed by former State Senator and Assembly Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee and Charles Munger, Jr., the initiative would make several important changes to enhance and modernize the public’s engagement with the California State Legislature.

The California Attorney General has issued an official Title and Summary of the initiative so that proponents may circulate it as a petition to gather the necessary signatures from state voters sufficient to qualify for the statewide ballot.

“It’s time to put an end to the practice of ramming legislation through the process without review, debate, or public notice,” said former State Senator Blakeslee.

“This initiative will restore integrity to California’s legislative process by allowing all our constituents, and the lawmakers they elect, to more fully participate in what is supposed to be an open process.”

The California Legislature Transparency Act would require the Legislature to publish legislation online for at least 72 hours before voting to pass it, post video records of open legislative proceedings so that constituents can follow the process, and allow members of the public to also freely video-record legislative proceedings to share or post for public viewing.

Current law allows last-minute changes to legislation that are drafted behind closed doors and often used to pass questionable laws without review or deliberation. This initiative would end the “gut and amend” maneuvering that regularly bypasses public review and give Californians the tools they need to hold their politicians accountable.

Next, the initiative proponents will immediately launch a drive to collect the required number of signatures from voters and fully expect to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot. Proponents continue to build a diverse coalition of supporters for transparency and accountability in the legislative process.

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