Claims the California Legislature is transparent are bogus Claims the California Legislature is transparent are bogus

“Transparency in government is paramount,” said Assemblywoman Gail Pellerin, D-Santa Cruz, proving that hypocrisy in government is clearly the rule in California. As chair of the Committee on Elections and Redistricting, Pellerin praised “transparency” as she voted to kill a bill that would have banned non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) from the bill-making process.

The bill, Assembly Bill 2654, was in response to a report by KCRA’s Ashley Zavala, who broke the news that special interest groups had signed NDAs when secretly negotiating bills that set wages, working hours, and other working conditions at fast food restaurants last year.

Pellerin claimed that her opposition to the NDA bill wasn’t based on substance, but rather the limited time legislators had to review it. The bill had been in her committee for just three days and in print for only seven.

“This rushed process, which necessitated an expedited hearing by this committee, prevented this bill from receiving the level of scrutiny and analysis that bills normally receive before being heard,” she said. “It has also restricted the public’s ability to review and analyze this bill and to provide public comment.”

We’d agree with the assemblywoman – if it weren’t all for show. The Democratic supermajority doesn’t care about the process, transparency or scrutiny when they want something passed – especially when they don’t want you looking at it too closely. Look no further than the state budget, arguably the most important piece of legislation in any given year, which had its first committee hearing last week.

Last Wednesday afternoon, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas and Senate Pro Tem Mike McGuire announced that the two legislative houses had agreed on a budget proposal. Less than 24 hours later, on Thursday morning, the Assembly Budget Committee took up the budget package.

What about the analysis that bills normally receive before being heard? Well, the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst Office testified that they had not had time to review the plan.

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Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

 

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