(PRWEB) January 13, 2012
Assembly Member Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) has introduced a bill to increase public awareness of and access to the required Statement of Economic Interests, also known as Form 700, filed by local elected officials. AB 1509 will require California cities and counties to post a notice on their website stating where a person can obtain an electronic copy of a local elected official’s Form 700.
“Voters naturally go to their local government websites to get information about their elected officials, and it makes sense that information about Form 700s should be posted there as well,” stated Assembly Member Mary Hayashi. “This bill supports the intent of the Political Reform Act by ensuring that voters have access to these records, and reassures them that their representatives are performing their duties in an ethical manner.”
In 1974, California voters passed Proposition 9, most commonly known as the Political Reform Act. The Act was designed to ensure that government officials do not use their position to make decisions that would benefit their own personal financial interests. In this regard, most state and local government officials and their employees must submit a Form 700 to the Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC).
Form 700 is a public disclosure of income, assets, and gifts that could be affected by official actions. The statement must be filed upon assuming office, on an annual basis, and upon leaving office. The FPPC makes all Form 700s available in hard copy and online for public viewing.
In an effort to increase public awareness and streamline access to these forms, AB 1509 would require Form 700s to also be available through the websites of city clerks and/or county clerks.
The bill requires certain notifications to be posted, including a list of the local elected officials who are required to file Form 700s, and that copies can be obtained by visiting the FPPC or on the FPPC’s website. Additionally, the notification must include a link to the FPPC’s internet website and a statement declaring that certain Form 700s may be available in electronic format.
Assembly Member Mary Hayashi is the Chair of the Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee and serves the 18th Assembly District, which includes San Leandro, Hayward, Dublin, most of Castro Valley and Pleasanton, and a portion of Oakland, as well as the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo and Sunol.