SACRAMENTO (AP) — The Legislature's Democratic leaders are pledging to address a budget bill that threatens public access to information held by local governments, but to do so in different ways.
The attempts to backtrack on the bill occurred late in the day Wednesday and in chaotic fashion as the Legislature was facing intense public criticism over the measure.
The leaders of the Assembly and Senate were at odds about what to do, leading to confusion and leaving the bill's fate uncertain.
Assembly Speaker John Perez said his house would meet Thursday and pass another bill that will maintain a requirement for cities and counties to comply with the California Public Records Act.
But Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg followed that announcement by saying he planned a different solution. He wants to pass the Assembly's bill only if there is evidence in the future that a city or county is not complying.
Instead, Steinberg said the Senate will take up a constitutional amendment intended to clarifying that the state should not pay for what local officials "should be doing on their own."
Lawmakers were reacting after a wave of media editorials called on Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the bill, which the Legislature passed last week as part of the budget package.