The Assembly Natural Resources Committee has approved legislation by Assemblymember Mark Stone that would increase transparency and accountability at the California Coastal Commission. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 9-0.
“This bill makes a necessary change to the law to ensure that decisions made by Coastal Commissioners have appropriate standards of disclosure and public scrutiny. The actions of the Coastal Commission have a profound impact on the lives of Californians, so Californians should be able to find out who is working to influence decisions that Commissioners make,” said Stone.
AB 684 would require ex parte communications with California Coastal Commissioners (Commissioners) to be available to the public on a searchable database and would require Commissioners to verbally disclose at the hearing these communications, including the identity of the person or persons engaging in the communication, prior to that item being heard at the hearing. AB 684’s database requirement will allow the public to have key information on who Commissioners may have met with prior to making important land use decision.
AB 684 will next be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Senators Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) are principal co-authors of this proposed measure.