California State Assembly Set to Improve Public Document Access

In late May of 2022, the California State Assembly approved a bill known as AB 2370 which intends to recover records from the California Department of Insurance’s (DOI) and restore some transparency after years of scandal and damaged public opinions.

In the face of recent and continuous failures by the Department of Insurance to provide access to government records, assemblymember Marc Levine of Marin County saw his new bill pass unanimously with a vote of 65 to 0.

In the latter half of 2021, the DOI attempted to institute email retention policies that would delete emails automatically after 180 days if not manually archived. Those email records are essential to ensuring insurance companies, for example, maintain the promises made to protect consumers and keep the DOI functioning properly in regulating the insurance markets.

AB 2370 looks to correct the proposed ideas and problems of the past and does so by applying current record retention requirements within local governments, which are at least 2 years, to all state agencies. By doing so, those who request public information will have it more easily accessible and ultimately streamline the process.

The newly passed AB 2370 is now headed to the State Senate with a scheduled hearing date on 06/14/22, and if passed will be a big step in transparency reform within the state of California. Marc Levine, the creator of the bill, called fellow lawmakers to action and was quoted as saying “Californians need to regain trust in the DOI and have faith that the public officials entrusted to protect consumers are fighting for them, not for insurance companies.”

The bill passing on a state level should prove to be a vital tool needed to restore the reputation, ethics, and transparency of the DOI who’s come under fire for potential bias towards insurance companies and will all while continue to put consumers’ rights across the state first.

Categories: 2022

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