June 2, 2016 – 4:50 P.M.
Two days of private negotiations among lawmakers resulted Thursday in brand-new legislation that would change the State Bar of California’s governing board and examine the idea of a major overhaul of the quasi-state agency.
On Tuesday, lawmakers rejected an earlier version of a funding plan , criticizing how little reform there was in that bill for an agency that’s long been at the center of controversy and conflict .
The vote on AB 1676 was decidedly different, as the negotiations settled on a handful of additional items that backers applauded as reform. They include a new state bar governing board that could not have a majority of its members as attorneys.
The bill would also expand audits of the agency and create a commission to report back on the “de-unification” of the State Bar of California’s dual roles as a professional association and a regulator of the legal profession.
Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) called it the “bare minimum to right the wrongs” of the agency.
The bill now heads to the state Senate.