Assemblymember Olsen Introduces Legislative Transparency Act

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, has introduced AB 1730 to increase transparency and accountability in the Legislature by requiring more disclosure of legislative budgets, additional campaign reporting and added time for public review of legislation.

“Each year, the Legislature passes bills requiring greater transparency of various agencies and local governments. However, it fails to hold itself accountable to those same standards of open, transparent, citizen-driven government,” said Olsen.

Specifically, AB 1730 will:

Require all bills to be in print and available online for at least 72-hours before legislative actions;
Require all members and committees of the Legislature to post their monthly office budget reports on their state websites;
Require 24-hour online reporting of campaign contributions over $100 that are received during key legislative deadline weeks, including “house of origin”, budget and end-of-session deadlines.

Each year, bills are rewritten at the last minute and passed without the general public’s knowledge and often, the budget is voted on before the ink is dried. AB 1730 will end the midnight votes on backroom deals and bring greater transparency to the taxpayers. This will allow all stakeholders to be at the table and voice their concerns or support.

In addition, citizens should have the right to review members’ office and committee budgets in order to facilitate transparency and responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Last year, Olsen was among the few legislators who publically disclosed their office budget reports.

“The public deserves full information from their elected officials about how their taxes are being spent,” said Olsen. “It is unconscionable that the Legislature would have ever sought to withhold such information.”