Fong bill fixes loophole in Public Records Act

Last Thursday, May 23, members of the California Assembly unanimously approved AB 289, authored by Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County). The bill establishes an independent California Public Records Act ombudsperson, who will act as an objective referee when a state agency denies a CPRA request made by the public.

“In order to ensure our government is working on behalf of the public, we need to have a process that brings transparency as intended by the California Public Records Act,” said Fong. “Our state bureaucracies have abused the current system by denying legitimate PRA requests and daring the public to bring an expensive lawsuit against the state, which is not a fair playing field. Government exists to serve the public, not the other way around.”

AB 289 is supported by numerous media outlets across the state, as well as the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Kern County Taxpayers Association, and the League of Women Voters.

The bill is now in the California Senate, where it will await referral to a Senate policy committee for a hearing.

Fong represents the 34th Assembly District, which includes the Indian Wells Valley.

Story First Published: 2019-05-31