We’ve heard the term being elected “to do the people’s work”. When we go to the polls and vote for our elected officials, we expect them to represent this. There is also an unspoken agreement that we can find out what’s going on as they represent us in Sacramento, Washington or in our local cities, schools or special districts.
For our elected officials in Sacramento, keeping us “in the loop” can be a particular challenge. Some sloppy transparency habits have developed over the years which really have not helped the reputation of our Legislature. For instance, sometimes at the end of the session, bills will be passed before they are even written, and in no way is there anything in that process, that makes sure that you and I have a chance to review it (since it hasn’t even been written).
California Forward, the government reform organization has worked with likeminded organizations on reforms that help improve openness, transparency and accountability of our elected officials.
State Senator Lois Wolk, a Democrat from California’s 3rd Senatorial District near Sacramento, introduces legislation this week that is designed to make sure that bills are written, published and posted in Sacramento before any action can be taken. The reason? To improve the citizen’s ability to be aware of pending legislation.