Jerry Brown abandons plan to limit access to government records

Administration sources have confirmed that Gov. Jerry Brown will abandon a proposal to allow local governments to opt out of a law ensuring public access to government records.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Under increasing public pressure, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday abandoned a plan that could have limited access to government records.

The provision, first proposed by Brown in January and included in a budget plan approved by lawmakers last week, would have allowed local elected bodies to opt out of parts of the law -- namely the current requirement that they respond to public requests within 10 days, make records available electronically when possible and offer legal reasons for refusing a records request.

Brown spoke to the national nurses’ union in San Francisco on Thursday morning, but raced off the stage without taking questions from reporters.


His reversal was confirmed by administration sources Thursday afternoon.

Democrats will now push for an amendment in the state Constitution to ensure public access to government documents and specify that local agencies will be responsible for paying for the law’s implementation. Local governments had sought reimbursements in the tens of millions of dollars from the state for complying with the law.


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