This comprehensive guide to all California law on access to government meetings focuses on the Ralph M. Brown Act (local government councils, boards and commissions), with parallel coverage of the Bagley-Keene OpenMeeting Act (state government councils, boards and commissions) as well as special rules for meetings of:
• the California Legislature
• the California Judicial Council
• the Commissions on Judicial Appointments and Judicial Performance
• the University of California Board of Regents
• the Board of Trustees of the State Bar
• Student government bodies at California State University campuses
• Local school site parent advisory committees
• Homeowners association governing boards, and
• Locally adopted sunshine ordinances
The guide analyzes each statutory provision as well as its interpretive case law and attorney general’s opinions, and includes or links to the full text of each statute and court rule. Issues addressed for the Brown and Bagley-Keene Acts include the definition of key terms, the requirements for meetings, the rights of the public, exceptions from the openmeeting requirement, dealing with violations without going to court, and legal remedies and litigation strategy. Also examined is the constitutional open government mandate added by Proposition 59 of 2004.
The guide is written by Terry Francke, general counsel for the nonprofit public interest organization Californians Aware, with more than 37 years’ experience helping journalists, citizen watchdogs, attorneys and even government officials and employees understand the open government laws. Francke is also author of the other CalAware Guides on Journalism Law in California and Public Records and Private Information in California.
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