Bill to Protect Officials’ Use of Social Media Passes Assembly
January 30, 2020
County supervisors and other local officials would remain able to use social media to engage in discussions about important issues with the public under the provisions of AB 992, by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, which passed the Assembly this morning (January 30).
The internet provides a way for local officials to engage the public in issues of importance like never before, and to make their deliberations and the reasons for their decisions more transparent that ever before. However, there is some concern that the Brown Act could be interpreted to disallow this potential in many cases, even though the purpose of the Act is to ensure that the actions of local elected officials are “taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.”
Not everyone can attend meetings of local boards, either due to scheduling, physical limitations, or other travel difficulties. The discussions that occur on social media give those individuals an opportunity to participate in the public policy process that they would not otherwise have, while still restricting official deliberation and action to a properly noticed meeting.
AB 992, which CSAC supports, now moves to the Senate.