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Skelton: California Legislature needs more transparency

January 24, 2013 |  7:00 am

Assembly floor

SkeltonEvery year California lawmakers rush through dozens of bills with little to no public scrutiny at the end of the legislative session.  

"Lobbyists and legislators meet in crannies of Capitol corridors, patching together laws," writes George Skelton in his Thursday column. "Halls are cluttered with smelly, empty pizza boxes discarded by anxious lobbyists. Cold coffee splashes from soggy cups."  

A new proposal from five lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, seeks to end that rush to the finish line. Almost all bills would need to be in print for 72 hours before the Legislature could give it final approval.  

Skelton said he used to think this kind of proposal was naïve, but not anymore.  

"It’s a reform whose time has come, especially with increasing one-party rule in California and the Democrats’ newly-won supermajorities in both legislative houses," he writes. "There needs to be some break to slow down Democratic steamrollers."  

All of Skelton's columns are here.


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Photo: A lawmaker works on the Assembly floor in the Capitol. Credit: Los Angeles Times