On February 6, 2013, California Legislature Senator Cathleen Galgiani introduced Senate Bill (SB) 176 which would require all state agencies, boards, and commissions to publish a notice prior to any meeting date or report, provided the meeting or report is seeking public input on rulemaking. Formally, the bill would add section 11346.6 to the California Government Code, which includes the language of this new requirement. The idea behind the bill is to mirror the federal rulemaking process as well as “increase public participation in the regulation development process and improve the quality” of the final rule or regulation.
Currently, the public may comment after a release however that would be commenting on a bill, after the fact, it is no longer a proposal or a work in progress. In order for people to really participate in how they are being ruled they need to be in on it at the ground level not only learning by doing but perhaps making contributions to the final product.
Senator Galgiani, a Democrat who represents the 5th Senate District which includes all of San Joaquin County and parts of Stanislaus and Sacramento Counties, believes that requiring prior notification of these pertinent events would increase the general public awareness and participation in a bill development process. This in turn would hopefully lead to more public involvement in governance.
The bill recently received unanimous endorsement from the Standing Committee on Governmental Organization. It has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Appropriations.