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California Legislators Suspend Requirements of Public Meeting Law

California legislators have suspended some of the requirements of the Brown Act to help close the budget gap.

California legislators have suspended some of the requirements of the Brown Act to help close the budget gap.

That state law requires California counties, cities, school districts and other local agencies to post agendas for the public and disclose decisions made in closed meetings.

The state usually pays for those expenses, but the budget adopted last month suspends those provisions for three years to save the state $96 million dollars. Jim Ewert with the California Newspaper Publishers Association said he’s very concerned with the move.

“For those agencies that decide that they want to cut their own costs or they want to cut their own corners," said Ewert, "they can do so and a citizen would have no legal recourse to call them on it.”

Some municipalities and governing boards may continue to follow the law regardless of the suspension. But a spokeswoman with The League of California Cities said the group has not decided what it will recommend to cities.

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