Two years after declaring a week in March as Sunshine Week, state Sen. Leland Yee is pushing another 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 in a prepared statement. “By highlighting good and bad examples of government transparency, Sunshine Week allows us to realize that freedom of information benefits everyone.
This year, Yee is authoring several open government and public access bills, including:
• SB 2 and 3, 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 Feb. 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.