Newspaper Endorsements

Sacramento Bee

“Giving the public more power to peer into the murkiness of state politics is generally a good thing. And so we find it hard to object to Proposition 54, which would slow the last-minute surge of bills that get shoved through the Legislature every year, usually with nowhere near enough scrutiny.”

Los Angeles Times

“The proposal would make it easier for the public to keep track of what’s going on in Sacramento, and that alone makes Proposition 54 worth supporting…We don’t see how more transparency would give special interests more power than they have now. Nor do a bevy of good government groups supporting the bill along with Munger, chambers of commerce and taxpayers associations…Nevertheless, Proposition 54 would make the Legislature a bit more open, accessible and accountable to the public. It deserves a “yes” vote.”

La Opinion

“Votar sí por la proposición 54 no solo aportará leyes a California con un mayor escrutinio del público, de la prensa y mayor estudio de los propios legisladores sino que provocará que las acciones legislativas sean menos herméticas y más abiertas. Le quitará el velo de secretismo a la Legislatura y hará que los legisladores tomen más responsabilidad ante los votantes al no dejar para la última hora acuerdos legislativos relevantes.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“California legislators had their chances to stop one of their sloppiest and most undemocratic practices: the passage of last-minute legislation that is jammed through before most rank-and-file lawmakers, let alone the rest of us, have a chance to read it…Proposition 54 would finally deliver that reform…If Californians want greater transparency from their elected officials, then voters need to take action themselves. Prop. 54 is that opportunity. We highly recommend its passage on Nov. 8”

San Diego Union-Tribune

“The easiest yes vote on any state ballot measure before voters this November is on Proposition 54. The Legislature Transparency Act bans the California Legislature from passing a bill unless it has been available for review on the internet for at least 72 hours…The November ballot will be full of local and state ballot measures that require voters to make difficult choices. That’s not the case here. Yes on Proposition 54.”

Mercury News and 

East Bay Times

“Proposition 54 is a breath of fresh air. It would end the state Legislature’s unethical practice of removing the text of bills at the last moment and replacing it with unrelated legislation that is quickly put up for a vote — with no chance for the public or affected parties to vet it…We welcome Prop. 54. For both rich and poor, transparency rules are in the public interest. Vote yes.”

Fresno Bee

“Giving the public more power to peer into the murkiness of state politics is generally a good thing. And so we find it hard to object to Proposition 54, which would slow the last-minute surge of bills that get shoved through the Legislature every year, usually with nowhere near enough scrutiny.”

Orange County Register

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

San Francisco Examiner

“This is the kind of transparency and accountability we must demand from government. The intention is to stop the troublesome “gut and amend” practice of revising and adding items into bills right before a vote to conceal its contents from the public.”

Modesto Bee

“Now, we’re writing to endorse Proposition 54, urging voters not to be fooled by opponents who say it will hamstring the legislative process or that our elected representatives could pass more effective legislation. The only thing Proposition 54 will hamstring is the wheeling-and-dealing we don’t like…Proposition 54 will shine a light on governance, requiring every piece of legislation be published and posted online at least 72 hours before a vote can be taken. Instead of having dozens of bills shoveled through the legislature at the last minute, often unread by those who must vote on them, there will be time for everyone to see what is being voted on. No more legislating from the shadows”

Bakersfield Californian

“Representing the people of California should not be done in secret. It should not be done thoughtlessly. But that is what often happens at the end of legislative sessions, when politicians meet behind closed doors, “gut and amend” legislation, and then ask their colleagues to vote “yes” on sight-unseen (or in some cases, obscene) bills. For years, California legislators have resisted efforts to curb this shady deal-making. So, wealthy Silicon Valley physicist Charles Munger Jr. teamed up with former Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee to say “enough is enough…Prop. 54 will give a bright blast of sunshine to a legislative process that has been thriving for years in the shadows of special interests.”

Monterey Herald

“Here are a few truths to hold onto in an election year: People should know what their government is doing. And that their government actually belongs to them. And that the best way to stay informed about what our government is doing is through public records and from public meetings. When government denies access to its meetings and records, it keeps the people who pay for and are affected by what government does in the dark…Real transparency is vital to a functioning democracy. The California Legislature Transparency Act would put a stop to legislation rushed through without public notice, and hold lawmakers accountable for serving the people who elect them.”

Santa Cruz Sentinel

“What happens in Sacramento, behind closed doors, shouldn’t stay in Sacramento. That’s why we support Proposition 54, which would amend the state Legislature’s all-too-common practice of removing much of the body of legislation that’s already in debate, then replacing with unrelated legislation that frequently reflects the desires of special interests — then ramming the bill through in the final moments of a session without benefit of public vetting…The public deserves a state government required to be as transparent in how it governs as cities and counties. Vote yes on Proposition 54.”

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

“The public deserves a state government that is required to be as transparent in its governance as cities and counties. In the weeks to come, you will hear us point out a number of state propositions on the Nov. 8 that should never have been placed before the voters. But this is not one of them. The Press Democrat encourages a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Desert Sun

“Proposition 54, backers say, will effectively end the “gut and amend” tactic where bills are amended with original language completely removed and entirely new language is inserted and approved at the last minute, with no public notice. Every resident of California should expect honest, open government. Vote yes on Proposition 54.”

Hanford Sentinel

“Proposition 54 would put an end to that practice by prohibiting the Legislature from passing any bill unless it had been published on the Internet for at least 72 hours beforehand…Making bills and meetings available on the Internet can only help hold representatives accountable to voters rather than themselves or special interests.”

Ventura County Star

“We support the proposition and urge a yes vote on 54, the Legislature Transparency Act.
And we blame the leaders of the California Legislature for the need to write into the state Constitution how they should conduct their business…Vote yes on Proposition 54.”

Marin Independent Journal

“Proposition 54 may be the easiest decision on the state ballot…This proposition would outlaw the practice of last-second gut-and-amend legislation that circumvents the tests of public hearings and open debate”

Stockton Record Net

“Vote yes. More transparency is needed in state government and the ploy to “sneak” through measures attached to other bills has become a Sacramento epidemic.”

Santa Maria Times

“Proposition 54 prohibits the Legislature from passing a bill unless it has been in print and published online within at least 72 hours before any vote. We strongly recommend a “yes” vote.”

Santa Clarita Valley Signal

“So we urge you to vote “Yes” on Proposition 54. Let’s start down the path of transparency with Prop 54 and make sure more and bigger steps follow to shine a light into the darkened chambers of our own state government.”

Santa Monica Observer

“Yes. The last-minute shenanigans of the legislative leadership shoving bills through the legislature without previous publication or vetting doesn’t make for thoughtful and transparent decision-making. 54 is supported by good government groups and will help to solve that problem.”

Chico Enterprise Record

“An obvious yes that forces transparency upon the Legislature. It requires that any bill in front of the Legislature be posted on the internet for at least 72 hours before the Legislature may vote on it…This forces them to do it the right way. Serves them right.”

San Francisco Bay Guardian

“The state Legislature has a habit of introducing new elements to bills at the last minute, just before a session ends. Rotten special-interest riders hike onto unrelated bills; legislator voting on hundreds of measures don’t get a chance to scrutinize what’s going on. Prop. 54 also mandates that all sessions of the Legislature and its committees be streamed on video. Vote yes.”

Bay Area Reporter

” This initiative constitutional amendment would prohibit the Legislature from enacting any legislation unless it had been in print and published on line 72 hours in advance except in cases of public emergency. It also requires legislative proceedings except closed sessions be video recorded and published online. This is a good government measure to promote transparency and prevent last minute shenanigans by legislators. Vote Yes on 54.”

Long Beach Telegram

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Torrance Daily Breeze

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Merced Sun Star

“Yes. Would require all legislation to be available to the public for 72 hours before a vote can be taken.”

San Bernardino Sun

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Pasadena Star News

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Redlands Daily Facts

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Fairfield Daily Republic

” YES. This measure requires that legislation be made available in print 72 hours in advance of a vote. Too often we as citizens hear about important legislation that appears to have “just happened,” either behind closed doors or through a gut-and-amend process that swaps the language from a vetted bill with new language that few if anyone outside the Legislature had time to consider.”

Los Angeles Daily News

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Woodland Daily Democrat

“An obvious yes that forces transparency upon the Legislature. It requires that any bill in front of the Legislature be posted on the internet for at least 72 hours before the Legislature may vote on it.”

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Riverside Press Enterprise

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Whittier Daily News

“Prop. 54’s common-sense provisions will offer legislators, the media and the general public a greater opportunity to expose and debate the results of deals made behind closed doors, discussed only on obscure committee meetings or rushed through at the end of legislative sessions. It brings more transparency and accountability to the legislative process, which is particularly important since trust in government has deteriorated to such incredibly low levels. The Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 54.”

Manteca Bulletin

“So how can this be a bad thing? The opponents contend voting for it will allow special interests like tobacco, oil, and drug companies to delay passage of state laws. Really, as if the legislature isn’t already partially — if not all the way — in the pockets of special interests. If you are having reservations about a “yes” vote, because of arguments made by the opponents— namely Steve Maviglio of Californians for an Effective Legislature — don’t”

Victorville Daily Press

“One of the functions of government at all levels should be to foster discussion and debate of all proposed laws. But in Sacramento, it often seems more effort is made to obscure bills and their consequences than to notify the public of them. Proposition 54 would change that, once and for all. It’s a ballot measure whose time has come. We urge a yes vote on Prop 54 on Nov. 8.”

Porterville Recorder

“We do agree that if legislators were given bills 72 hours in advance to study them, their votes might be different. Again, what Prop. 54 really ends is that last-minute practice of tacking something on a bill, a way of sneaking something past the public. Vote yes on Prop. 54.”

Santa Barbara Independent

“Prop. 54 • Yes: This qualifies as one of the rare good-government reforms that make tons of sense. Prop. 54 amends the state constitution to require all bills that are to be voted on by the entire legislature to be published at least 72 hours in advance.”

Malibu Times

“Proposition 54: Vote yes — Requires bills be in print and online at least 72 hours before the legislature can act. An attempt to make government more open and more transparent, but it also gives lobbyists more time to mobilize all their forces. If it works, great, so probably worth a try.”

Pleasanton Weekly

“We support Proposition 54 because it will allow people and the press to participate in the democratic process if they so choose. More importantly, it will increase transparency in the legislative process and allow voters — the people who are ultimately affected by legislation — to hold their representatives accountable.”

Los Angeles City Watch

“This initiative has broad bipartisan support which is already having an impact as the Legislature is on good behavior…Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, or a Libertarian or a Green, this common sense initiative is a no brainer. Vote YES on Proposition 54, the California Legislature Transparency Act.”

Idyllwild Town Crier

“Proposition 54, the Legislature Transparency Act, is an initiative constitutional amendment and statute that currently has broad support and little apparent opposition. It proposes to amend the California constitution to require any prospective bill be in print and made available to legislators, and posted on the Internet, for at least 72 hours before the Legislature could vote to pass it. In an emergency, such as a natural disaster, the Legislature could pass emergency legislation faster…The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board noted, “It’s important to know that several earnest legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike, have been trying to push a 72-hour rule for years — and those ideas went nowhere. The politicians had their chance. The good news is that the legislative transparency initiative had enough certified signatures to qualify for the November ballot.”

Champion Newspapers

“Prop. 54 would stop the legislature from sneaking through last minute laws without proper hearing and notices. A definite “yes.””

San Diego City Beat

“Prop. 54: Yes. This is a no-brainer. Prop 54 would put to rest the classic gut-and-amend move, where laws are discussed in meetings but then completely reworked to benefit special interests just before being put to a vote. Once rewritten, they often have nothing to do with the original version. Unless you want to encourage governmental corruption, let’s require that laws be posted online 72 hours before a vote for the legislators, public and press to review.”

Trinity Journal

“California voters will face a number of choices on the ballot Nov. 8, but few easier than Proposition 54…this will be one of the easier choices for voters this November. We recommend a YES vote on Proposition 54.”

Anderson Valley Advertiser

“Vote Yes. Ever hear of “gut-and-amend”? Our noble legislators sneak bills through at the last minute with all kinds of giveaways to bad interests. Proposition 54 would mandate that the content of bills be published 72-hours prior to the vote. Everyone is for this across the board, except for, guess who? California Democrats of the elected type who fear voter reaction to their many treacheries.”

Palo Alto Daily Post

“This is another good government measure that voters should approve. It prohibits the Legislature from passing any bill unless it has been published on the Internet 72 hours before the vote, and requires the Legislature to record its proceedings and post them on the Internet. It stops the “gut and amend” trick that political leaders and special interests have used to take an existing bill, remover all its language, and substitute new language on an entirely different subject minutes before a vote.”

Daily Californian

“Should Proposition 54 be approved, the law would require that the state Legislature publish any legislation online at least 72 hours before voting on it. A clear win for transparent governance…Proposition 54 opens the door for that transparency. A yes vote means constituents can walk through it.”

UC Irvine New University

“We support this proposition because the text of California legislation should be available to journalists and voters in advance of any final decisions, so that citizens may have adequate time and access to make informed decisions and contact their representatives.”

UC Riverside Highlander

“The Highlander Editorial Board endorses this proposition because it significantly expands government transparency toward California voters. It is highly important for voters to know what is happening in the government, and this proposition makes such information easily and quickly accessible. It is also the hope of this editorial board that with this proposition, California can lead the way for the rest of the country in government transparency.”