‚Äč  Assembly Committees Approve Two Transparency Measures Authored by Assemblyman Obernolte 

ABs 410 and AB 809 seek to shine light on government

and improve access to public information 

 

 April 29th, two government transparency bills authored by Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) cleared their first legislative hurdles in the State Assembly.

AB 410, which would require state agencies to post on their website any report they are legally mandated to submit to a committee of the legislature, was unanimously approved out of the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review with bipartisan support.

“The people of California deserve a Legislature that conducts its business transparently,” said Assemblyman Obernolte. “Posting these reports online is a step in the right direction for modernizing state government and increasing access to public information.”

AB 410 is part of the Assembly Republican Caucus’ #MakeGovWork legislative package, a group of bills aimed at improving and modernizing the legislative process. The bill received support from a number of organizations including the California Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.

“Increasing transparency of public documents promotes accountability, which could lead to greater public engagement and more robust public policy,” stated Marti Fisher, a CalChamber’s policy advocate. “CalChamber is proud to support AB 410.”

AB 809, which was approved today by the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee, would improve voter awareness of tax increases by requiring that the ballot statement for any local tax ordinance include the amount of money to be raised annually and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied.

“Californians have a right to know what they are voting on, especially when it involves tax increases that could have a significant impact on their finances,” Assemblyman Obernolte said. “This material should be clearly stated to voters.”

AB 809 received support from two of California’s leading taxpayer advocates: The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California Taxpayers Association.

“A ballot label is the last thing voters see before voting on a local ordinance,” stated David Wolfe, the Legislative Director for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “So many of today's ballot labels include what the tax is going to fund, but have very little common-sense information like the duration of the tax and the amount of revenue to be raised. Voters deserve to have this information clearly presented to them before they cast a ballot.  This is especially true for tax measures which could be in place for decades."

Assembly Bills 410 and 809 will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

May 13, 2015 An update to these Bills will be published later this week by Assemblyman Jay Obernolte.