Sacramento, CA — Assemblymember Kristin Olsen’s legislation calling for increased transparency and accountability on behalf of the state legislature has failed to pass the Elections and Redistricting Committee.
AB 1730 would require that all bills be available in print and online at least 72 hours before a vote, mandate that members of the legislature post their monthly office budget online, and require 24-hour online posting of campaign contributions over $100.
Assemblymember Olsen, a republican, says the legislative process was killed by the committee in a party-line vote. The vote was; Tim Donnelly (R) and Dan Logue (R) voting in favor, Paul Fong (D) and Susan Bonilla (D) voting against, and two other democrats absent or not voting.
Assemblymember Olsen says, “AB 1730 would have ended the midnight votes on back room deals and brought greater transparency to the taxpayers.” She also notes, “This would allow all stakeholders to be at the table and voice their concerns or support. We should hold ourselves to the same transparency standards that we pass onto local governments and other agencies and organizations.”
According to Olsen’s press release, last year, the Legislature fought to conceal its budgets from the public, costing over $200,000 in attorney fees. The court ruled that under the Legislative Open Records Act, the public has the right to access members’ budgets. AB 1730 merely codifies this ruling into statue.
Assemblymember Olsen plans to reintroduce the bill next year.