Grassroots Action Center

Little Hoover Commission Set to Release Special District Report [GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY]

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Little Hoover Commission Set to Release Special District Report

Based on recent communications with The Little Hoover Commission, CSDA anticipates its review of special districts to include with a formal report to be issued in March. The Commission report is expected to cover the evolving role of healthcare districts, special districts efforts’ related to climate change adaptation, as well as the duties and responsibilities of Local Agency Formation Commissions. These were major topics at the August 25, 2016 and October 27, 2016 Commission hearings respectively.

CSDA continues to monitor and maintain open communication with the Commission. Members with questions may contact Advocacy and Public Affairs Director Kyle Packham at kylep@csda.net.

Personal Emails and Texts May Soon Be Public Records

The California Supreme Court may soon rule that communications related to the “conduct of the public’s business” on public agency officials’ and employees’ private electronic devices are subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), in City of San Jose et al. v. Superior Court (S218066).

The case stems from the efforts of a community activist in San Jose that filed a public records request for all communications from elected officials and staff related to a downtown development. The Superior Court of Santa Clara (Superior Court) granted the activist’s summary judgment motion, requiring the disclosure of the texts and emails.

The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the CPRA does not require public access to communications between public officials using exclusively private cell phones or email accounts because the communications sought by the activist were not “prepared, owned, used, or retained” by a “local agency” under CPRA.

Soon after, the California Supreme Court agreed to review the decision. If the Supreme Court reverses the Court of Appeal’s decision, then the communications of public agency officials and employees related to public agency business on personal devices and accounts could be subject to disclosure under CPRA, even if they are not retained by or in possession of the agency.

The California Supreme Court will decide the case by early March. Although it is difficult to predict how the court will rule from the questions posed during oral argument, the decision will have an immediate impact, binding on all public agencies and courts throughout California.

Please contact Legislative Analyst Mustafa Hessabi at mustafah@csda.net with any questions.

Hot Legislation

  • AB 84 (Mullin) Presidential Primary Elections – PENDING

STATUS: Introduced

This is currently an intent bill, but after future amendments are inserted, it would move the date of the California presidential primary election, and the date of the statewide direct primary election held during a presidential election year, from June to a date earlier in the year.

  • AB 241 (Dababneh) Personal Information: Local Agency Breach – PENDING

STATUS: Introduced

Requires a state or local agency, if it was the source of a data breach, to offer to provide appropriate identity theft prevention and mitigation services at no cost to a person whose information was or may have been breached if the breach exposed or may have exposed the person’s social security number, driver’s license number, or California identification card number.

 


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