“Bell Bills” Plus Others Affecting Local Governments: What About State-Level Problems?

Glendale Housing Authority and Redevelopment Agency meetings are held the same days as city council meetings, because it is an efficient way to take care of a slew of official matters. California AB 32, proposed in response to the Bell scandals, would require legislative bodies to verbally announce the compensation each member is entitled to receive by attending each meeting. Similar micromanagement proposals are progressing through the state legislature, while state-level budget issues remain to be addressed.

Some other pending bills directed at local government proceedings:

AB 148: Requires local agencies to post the ethics training records of all elected members on the agencies’ Internet Web site, if any, to submit a copy of the records to the State Controller within 90 days of receiving them, and requiring the Controller to withhold funds if the agency doesn’t comply with these requirements.

AB 229: Requires the Controller to develop a plan to review and report the financial and compliance audits of local agencies, and to review and monitor audit reports performed by independent auditors, using official audit guidelines.

AB 253: Requires the State Controller to establish uniform accounting and reporting principles for local agencies and special districts.

And more: AB 276, AB 392, AB 527, AB 582, AB 834, AB 1344, and AB 1350.

Its not that most of these bills are bad ideas, but state legislators need to focus this kind of attention on state-level problems.