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County Will Fully Comply With Brown Act Despite State Action

August 24, 2012

The Placer County Board of Supervisors reaffirmed its commitment Tuesday to fully complying with the Brown Act despite a state decision to suspend parts of the act for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

“Even though the state may waver in its commitment to the Brown Act, we won’t,” Chairwoman Jennifer Montgomery said after the board convened its meeting Tuesday. “I want people to understand that Placer County is going to continue to fully comply with the intent of the Brown Act.”

She emphasized that the Board of Supervisors believes strongly in government that is transparent and encourages public participation.

The Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s open-meeting law, generally requires local governing bodies such as the Board of Supervisors to conduct business in public meetings open to the public.

The main focus of Chairwoman Montgomery’s comments was the act’s requirement for local governing bodies to print and post agendas at least 72 hours before public meetings. She emphasized Placer County will continue to abide by the rule, even though the state action raises questions about whether local agencies are bound by the rule while the suspension remains in effect.

Assembly Bill 1464, the state Budget Act of 2012, included portions of the Brown Act in a list of mandates the state is suspending for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The Brown Act suspension relieves the state of the need to reimburse counties and other local governments for costs incurred printing and posting agendas.

For the 2010-11 fiscal year, Placer County is seeking reimbursement from the state for $55,537 in costs incurred preparing and posting agendas for the Board of Supervisors and other county governing bodies subject to the Brown Act.