CPRA penalty bill adjusted in preparation for judiciary hearing

CNPA is continuing to lobby the Senate Judiciary Committee members to approve a measure to fine agencies up to $5,000 for violating the California Public Records Act.

By giving judges who rule on these cases the power to call out agencies that act in bad faith, California would join the small sampling of states that impose punitive measures on government agencies that delay or wrongly deny access to public records.

The bill, AB 1479 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), will be amended next week to make mostly technical adjustments in an effort to ease the concern of the agencies’ lobbyists that the bill would somehow slow an agency’s ability to respond to a request.

The measure is also being amended to address the expressed concerns of the California Professional Firefighters that the bill will permit and encourage frivolous penalties.

The bill will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 11.