Plan to require local public agencies to make data more accessible to public passes first policy review

Support grows for Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s bill to improve public access to information

April 15, 2015

SACRAMENTO – On a bipartisan, 7-to-0 vote, a plan by Sen. Bob Hertzberg to require local government agencies to conduct system-wide inventories of collected data today passed its first policy test.

“Many local agencies statewide are already turning internally gathered data into usable information available to the public under the California Public Records Act, but more must be done,” Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, said about Senate Bill 272 after passage by the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance. “A better understanding of data means a smarter government, and that translates into improved services and jobs and a stronger helping hand to residents who need it most.”

Senate Bill 272 would require all local governments to produce a list of the software and systems they use to collect and maintain public information, such as reports on economic activity and public services. These catalogs would include who maintains the information, how it is stored and how often that data is collected.

In many cases, Hertzberg said, local agencies do not even know what data they have, where the data came from or how it is kept. Within California’s 58 counties and nearly 500 cities, there are thousands of agencies that collect public information.

Hertzberg said his goal for SB 272 is to better harness the power of locally generated data to help spur economic growth, tackle major infrastructure issues and set millions of Californians on a path toward upward mobility. Properly gathered and clearly understood, data could also help empower local agencies and encourage the agencies to work together more effectively and to intelligently allocate resources to better deliver public services, he said.

“Smarter governments work better and inspire confidence in those they serve, strengthening -the connection between government and the people.”

Supporters of SB 272 include the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; the AFL-CIO; California Professional Firefighters; San Francisco Technology Democrats; Sunlight Foundation; California Business Roundtable; the California Manufacturers and Technology Association; the Data Transparency Coalition; San Diego Data Library; and the California Broadcasters Association.

SB 272 now faces review Tuesday by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 272, visit Hertzberg’s Web site at the address below.

Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map HERE or athttp://sd18.senate.ca.gov/district.  After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg built an international renewable energy business; invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through two civic groups: California Forward and the Think Long Committee of California.

More HERE or a twww.senate.ca.gov/hertzberg

MEDIA CONTACT: Ray Sotero

Communications Director
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate District 18
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4018 office; 916 834-1128 cell
www.sen.ca.gov/hertzberg

 

 

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