Senate approves public records amendment

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The state Senate has approved a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the public’s right to inspect local government public records while shifting the cost away from the state budget.

The amendment would end a requirement that the state reimburse local governments for their costs of complying with the California Public Records Act.

The bill, SCA3, passed on a 37-0 vote Thursday and goes to the Assembly. If it receives the required two-thirds majority support in that house, as expected, the amendment would go before voters next year.

A budget proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown sought to end the mandate and instead make compliance with the Public Records Act optional. He said it would save the state money, but his administration could not say exactly how much.

Lawmakers reversed their approval after media and good government groups objected, saying the provision meant some local governments could decide not to provide documents.

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