The Daily Outrage: Members of California Legislature allowed to withhold records

WHAT: Inquiries by The Associated Press show that the California Legislature’s correspondence with lobbyists, travel schedules and meetings with campaign donors are among the information state lawmakers’ chooses not to reveal publicly.

WHY: In 1975, the Legislature adopted its own rules for what it shares with the public. Other agencies are covered by the California Public Records Act, which requires far more transparency.

WHY IT’S AN OUTRAGE: California is among a handful of states in which the Legislature sets its own rules for releasing records, making it difficult for the public to see how lawmakers conduct business. One lawmaker responding to the AP’s findings, Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo, said it is time to review legislative record keeping and that lawmakers should avoid making exemptions for themselves as they demand that other government agencies open their records

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