ABs 410 and AB 809
seek to shine light on government
and improve access to
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.
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
“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
“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.