The Ralph M. Brown Act was passed in California in 1953 to ensure transparency in local legislative bodies’ decision-making process by requiring that:
- Agendas provide meeting details and a general description of topics to be discussed. Agendas are to be made available to the public at least 72 hours in advance of regularly scheduled meetings and 24 hours in advance of special meetings;
- All public meetings provide an opportunity for public comment; and
- Discussion of official business among a majority of the legislative body only be conducted at a properly noticed meeting.
For more information about the Brown Act, please watch the video below:
Proposition 218: Right to Vote on Taxes
In 1996, California Voters approved Proposition 218 adding a number of procedural requirements for local governments to raise property related assessments and fees, including the need to:
- Provide written notice to the owner of each parcel upon which a property-related fee or charge will be imposed;
- Hold a public hearing at least 45 calendar days after the mailing of the notice;
- Receive and tabulate written protests. A property-related fee or charge may not be imposed or increased if a majority of affected property owners submit written protests.