CRP Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jeffries Bill To End Backroom Deals Held Hostage...In A Backroom

As budget delays continue, Californians have made it abundantly clear that they are frustrated with the process and distrustful of the legislature. This has left many wondering what exactly is going on in the halls of the state capital. Hearing and understanding these frustrations, Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R- Lake Elsinore) wrote a bill five months ago that would increase transparency and accountability in Sacramento.

Five months later, Democrats have still yet to even schedule a public hearing on the bill, let alone a vote.

Jeffries’ bill, ACA 8, would require public notice on all legislation and prohibit the legislature from voting on bills without notifying the public 72 hours in advance. It would also require each bill to be available in print for at least 24 hours ahead of a vote. This bill would give legislators, members of the press, and the public at large the necessary time to read, review, and react to the measures being proposed.

“I find it ironic that a bill that would put an end to back room deals, is being held hostage in a backroom somewhere,” said Assemblyman Jeffries.

In a fiscal crisis such as the one we are in, it is critical that Californians be given the opportunity to review legislation with far-reaching consequences before they are haphazardly put into place.

“This amendment [ACA 8] reinforces the bedrock principles of the First Amendment and public participation in our government, and I am confident that if the people of this state have the opportunity to vote for this measure, it will pass overwhelmingly. Frankly, I can’t even imagine an intelligent opposition campaign being waged on this issue,” said Assemblyman Jeffries in a press release on the issue. “The only motive for not passing this legislation is to keep the people in the dark.”

Knowing all this to be true, Democrats have still refused to allow the bill to move through the legislative process. Perhaps the Democrats, the majority party in the legislature for the better part of 30 years, are afraid of what a little sunlight on the process might actually reveal.

Learn more about Assemblyman Jeffries’ bill

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