|Summary|| SB 1190, introduced by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and coauthored by Assemblymember Das Williams, would ban ex parte communications with a Commissioner for quasi-judicial (i.e., individual permit applications) and enforcement matters.
Several Commissioners spoke against the bill, defending their preference to have private conversations with interested individuals as a way to broaden the conversation around proposals. Commissioner Mark Vargas said he finds ex partes “useful for people… You have more time to talk.” Commissioner Roberto Uranga agreed. “I feel like we are public officials,” he said. “My policy is to be open to the public. We should be accessible.” Commissioners Mary Shallenberger and Carole Groom spoke in favor of the bill. “It’s about making sure every interested party has access to the same information in the same way… being responsible to the public,” Shallenberger said.
|Outcome Description||Following the Staff presentation and discussion Commissioners voted 6-5 to support the bill.|
|Why You Should Care||This bill would significantly alter existing Coastal Commission practice which allows ex parte communications so long as they are reported. The bill has support from many environmental organizations throughout the state, the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, members of the public and past Commissioners concerned that developers and their lobbyists have to unfair access to Commissioners. Some view ex partes as a significant and detrimental influence on the Commission decisions. Others value ex partes as a primary means for getting information to Commissioners and feeling like they have a voice in the process. This item highlights the importance of equitable and transparent decisionmaking.|
|Decision Type||Legislative Support|
|Opposition to Project|
|Coastal Act Policies|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
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