SENATOR YEE COMMEMORATES SUNSHINE WEEK

Yee continues efforts to increase government transparency and accountability

SACRAMENTO – Two years ago, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) authored legislation to declare the second week in March as Sunshine Week. Like previous sessions, Yee is again pushing another ambitious legislative package in 2013 to increase government transparency in the state.

Sunshine Week began in Florida in 2002 by the Society of Newspaper Editors, and has since become a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news, civic groups, libraries, nonprofit entities, schools, and others interested in the public’s right to know.

“Sunshine Week helps increase public awareness and inspires conversations about government transparency,” said Yee. “By highlighting good and bad examples of government transparency, Sunshine Week allows us to realize that freedom of information benefits everyone.

Yee has been dubbed “Senator Sunshine” by the head of Californians Aware, Terry Francke.

“With all due respect for Ralph Brown and Bill Bagley, the acknowledged godfathers of open government law in California, and Quentin Kopp, the major modernizer of the Brown Act, Leland Yee has attempted—and in most cases achieved—the widest record of transparency, free speech and free press advances in the state’s history,” said Francke.

This year, Yee is authoring several open government and public access bills, including:

SB 2 and SB 3 is a two-bill package – known as the Sunshine in Campaigns Act – to strengthen the California Political Reform Act.

SB 553 requires a third party with no vested interest in the process to determine the outcome of fee ballot elections, as currently required of assessment ballot elections, and requires ballots be preserved for a minimum of two years and allows the public to inspect retained ballots after an election.

SCR 10 declares February 23 as Open Data Day in California. Open Data refers to information that is electronically available from public entities and that is searchable and user-friendly.

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Contact: Adam J. Keigwin,
(916) 651-4008