Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Brown Poised to Gut Public Records Law; Two Senators Say NSA Phone Program Has Not Disrupted Terrorist Plots

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown strongly indicated last night that he plans to sign legislation that would eviscerate key aspects of the California Public Records Act, the Bay Area News Group reports. Brown also plans to reject a move yesterday by the state Assembly that would reverse course and keep the records law intact. The governor and state Senate leaders also contended that the weakening of the records law would only be temporary and that they would support a constitutional amendment for the November 2014 ballot that would restore the law. Brown and state Senate leaders claim that the the legislation that guts the records law will save the state millions of dollars next year.

Ron Wyden
  • Ron Wyden
2. Two US Senators said that the National Security Agency’s massive program that collects data on all phone calls made by Americans has “played little or no role” in disrupting alleged terrorist plots, the Washington Post$ reports. The statements by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado directly contradict claims by the Obama administration that the phone-data collection program was instrumental in thwarting more than fifty terrorist plots worldwide.

3. California state elected officials, including Governor Brown, will receive 5-percent pay raises as a result of a decision by a state commission, the SacBee$ reports.

4. House flippers in the Bay Area are often remodeling homes and then selling them without acquiring city permits, leaving buyers with shoddy upgrades, the Chron$ reports.

5. And the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity has sued the state over its plan to refurbish Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, contending that the proposal does not do enough to protect the endangered marbled murrelet, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports (via Rough & Tumble).

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