It’s another sad day for sex crime victims in the California Legisalture.
Last October, after accusations of a “pervasive” culture of sexual misconduct in politics blazed through Sacramento, the question was whether the California Legislature would disclose records pertaining to abuse investigations.
Well, they did…sort of.
However as the Los Angeles Times reports, six months later, the question is whether lawmakers will continue to rely on an ad-hoc process that can be canceled anytime they want. Legislation to ensure access to sexual harassment records has sat in limbo in the state Assembly since January.
It now looks as though that bill will miss a key deadline and effectively be killed without ever being heard in public.
“We need to change the statute,” said Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley). The proposal in question, Assembly Bill 2032, was written by the committee he chairs. But Stone can’t push the bill forward without action first by the Assembly Rules Committee.
AB 2032 would modify the state’s Legislative Open Records Act, a 43-year-old statute giving lawmakers unique power to shield their internal documents. It would guarantee public access to documents related to “complaints of harassment, discrimination or other misconduct” by a lawmaker or high-level staff member — but only for complaints judged “true” or “well-founded.”
This was supposed to be the deal Assembly and Senate leaders agreed to in early January.
That was then, and this is now. The chairman of the Assembly Rules Committee said he won’t move the bill forward.
Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) came up with the lame excuse that he wants members of a special sexual harassment subcommittee formed last year to lead the conversation instead. “They have to be allowed to do their work,” Cooley said in an interview.
They had plenty of time to do that. Cooley is simply lying and covering up for sex criminals that still troll the Legislature.
No surprise here.