More Transparency, Not Less

Yesterday, I mentioned Sarah Palin’s little attack on transparency and disclosure.  At the same time, the Legislature was looking in another direction: more disclosure during budget negotiations:

The Senate approved a measure that requires disclosure of contributions of at least $1,000 within 24 hours when they are made between the date in May when the finance director issues a revised revenue estimate and the date when a budget is adopted for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The new disclosure requirements, approved on a 29-3 vote and sent to the Assembly, also would apply to the 15 days before the end of the legislative session and, for the governor, during the 30 days after adjournment of the Legislature when he signs or vetoes the bulk of bills.(LA Times)

Now, this is not going to actually change the world, but if it’s good enough for the election cycle, it’s good enough for the budget. After all, most elections are well ahead of the time that the big decisions are made.  The real power that special interests seek to influence is all about the budget.  Why not have the same kind of strict rules?

My guess is that if this passes through the rest of the legislative hurdles, Arnold signs this.  He won’t have to deal with the consequences, and he gets to look like the goo-goo impresario that he has always wanted to be. It isn’t going to change the power of the two weeks surround the budget negotiations, but it just might be a little bit of sunshine-y fresh disinfectant.