August 20, 2012 
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) 
Dealers Bond Ballot Contributions 
August 15, 2012 | |

 ... The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today issued a request for public comment on a proposal to make publicly available additional information about contributions made by municipal securities dealers to bond ballot campaigns. The proposal seeks to address the perception that dealers' contributions to bond ballot campaigns, which secure voter approval for taxpayer-funded public projects, could influence the award of municipal securities underwriting business to dealers. 
     "Collecting additional disclosure information would assist the MSRB in our ongoing study of the perceived correlation between giving bond ballot campaign support and getting underwriting business," said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. "Even the appearance of 'pay-to-play' can undermine public confidence in the municipal market. ...

     Comments should be submitted no later than September 17, 2012.


MSRB Rule G-37, Political Contributions and Prohibitions on Municipal Securities Business: 
Brown Act, Cease and Desist Letters
Open Meetings Bill Offers Cease & Desist Solution
Some good news on McKee lawsuit against supervisors
August 16, 2012 | by jhouck |

EXCERPT: ...Government lobbies, spending your tax dollars, complained that any change granting rights to sue for prior acts could leave cities, counties and school boards open to lawsuits for claimed violations going way back.

      Instead, the publishers association and Californians Aware (of which Richard McKee was a founder) have worked out what seems to be a sensible compromise with the local government lobbies as part of SB 1003, introduced by Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco Democrat and the Legislature's leading public access advocate. It has been passed by the State Senate. Final approval in the Assembly is due soon, and the governor is expected to sign it.

      It offers the opportunity for a no-fault, no-lawsuit settlement to some Brown Act disputes.

       It doesn't change what happens in the case of present or future actions, say a situation in which a citizen challenges a continuing practice of failing to post agendas, denying the right to speak or demanding that citizens sign their names as a condition of attending the meeting (yes, that's against the law, folks).

     For past actions, the district attorney, or any citizen, for that matter, could send a "cease and desist" letter within nine months noting a claimed Brown Act violation in the past and demanding that the board or council not repeat it.

      The board or council would have 30 days to respond. If it promised publicly not to do it again (without admitting it had broken the law), the citizen (or district attorney) couldn't sue. ...


To read the complete post visit: 


Open Meetings Bill Offers Cease and Desist Solution 


Link to amended Senate Bill #1003:


EXCERPT:  ... The legislation by Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, would require a panel of independent experts to assess internal reforms made at the Division of the State Architect in response to two highly critical audits from the California State Auditor.
     The group also would make recommendations on new rules and laws needed to bolster the office's enforcement of the Field Act, California's landmark building code and earthquake safety law for public schools.

     In late March, Corbett introduced the legislation, SB 1271, which quickly passed through the Senate with support from school inspectors, construction representatives, school district officials and lobbyists. ...   

     ...But the measure has stalled in the Assembly. Last week, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Arleta, outgoing chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, didn't allow the committee to vote on the bill after a Dept. of Finance official told committee members that the bill would hamper transparency and usurp the authority of other state bodies. ...

     "We need to make sure that going forward that we always do have people in place to make sure the standards are followed and schools are safe," Corbett said. "It is very appropriate to have an oversight function to ensure that structural safety of all of the facilities that have thousands and thousands of children in a state that is known to be seismically active." ...  

     ... The California Watch investigation found that the state architect's office routinely failed to enforce the Field Act and allowed children and teachers to occupy buildings that had been flagged by engineers and inspectors for serious structural flaws and potential safety hazards.

     More than 16,000 school projects lack Field Act certification, and at least 59,000 more have yet to be fully reviewed by the state architect's office to identify their Field Act status. Roughly 42,000 students attend schools with unresolved safety issues, California Watch found.

     The investigation also found that for the past five years, the Division of the State Architect routinely destroyed key documents that might have shed light on its lax enforcement of earthquake safety standards - despite a binding agreement it had with the State Archives to preserve public records.


To read the complete article, visit:  


Senate Bill 1271: 

In This Issue
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Request for Public Comment
Brown Act, Cease and Desist Solution
Seismic Safety of Public Schools
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Sacramento Chamber of Commerce

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