Transparency requirements can drain California's budget
Almost three decades ago, California set up a commission to decide when local governments could bill the state for complying with requirements set by lawmakers in Sacramento.
Sometimes that's led to a burden on the state's budget. For example, lawmakers now owe local governments nearly $97 million for preparing and posting meeting agendas.
The full story ran in Friday's Los Angeles Times.
A review of records shows that some places want thousands of dollars in reimbursements for each public meeting. The Santa Clara Valley Water District had the highest average cost at $9,152.26 per meeting, while Los Angeles County had the lowest at $55.17.
"The state's getting ripped off," said Peter Scheer, who advocates for government transparency at the San Rafael, Calif.-based First Amendment Coalition.
Local governments say they're just following the rules to secure the funding they're entitled to. But Gov. Jerry Brown is tired of having the state foot the bill, and his tax measure includes a provision that would prevent cities, counties and other agencies from passing on the cost to Sacramento.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento