Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 – 7:51 am

What goes around, comes around.

A state budget “trailer bill” now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature would eviscerate the California Public Records Act, a long-standing “sunshine law” that allows the press and public to access most state and local government documents.

Journalists use the CPRA to uncover official malfeasance. The Los Angeles Times employed it, for example, to ferret out the outrageous self-dealing in the small city of Bell, resulting in criminal trials.

Capitol journalists, including those at The Bee, use it to seek documents from state agencies that self-protective officials may not want the public to see, such as The Bee’s disclosures about funds being hidden in the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The trailer bill, Assembly Bill 76, is a catch-all of legal changes supposedly related to the budget.

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