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CA bill would protect local public comment periods

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Members of the public could ask a judge to intervene if a local government body cuts off public comment before deciding an issue, under a bill approved by the state Assembly. Democratic Assemblywoman Nora Campos of San Jose says her AB194 "puts some teeth" into the state's public meetings law. The bill passed on a 42-7 vote yesterday and goes to the Senate. The legislation would let people request that a local government body re-open discussion if its initial consideration did not allow for complete public comment on a particular agenda item.

If the government entity refused, the person or a county prosecutor could ask a judge to invalidate the government's decision. Associations representing school districts and school administrators are opposed, saying enough protections already exist under current law.

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