Monday, 27 June 2022

Measure to increase access to public documents approved by State Assembly

Amidst continuing failures by the Department of Insurance to maintain public access to government records, the California State Assembly on Monday approved AB 2370 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County), which will restore transparency to a state agency plagued by scandal.

The bill was approved on a vote of 65 to 0.

In late 2021, the Department of Insurance attempted to institute an email retention policy under which all emails would automatically delete after 180 days unless manually archived.

Such records are essential to ensure that insurance companies are living up to their promises to protect consumers and that the department is acting properly in regulating the nation’s largest insurance market.

AB 2370 applies current local government record retention requirements of at least two years to all state agencies. Such a change will increase public confidence in the actions of state agencies and make public information more easily accessible to those who request it.

“It is incomprehensible that Commissioner Ricardo Lara attempted to auto-delete all Department of Insurance emails while simultaneously fighting in court to subvert the California Public Records Act,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine. “Californians need to regain trust in the Department of Insurance and have faith that the public officials entrusted to protect consumers are fighting for them, not for insurance companies. AB 2370 is an important tool necessary to restore ethics and transparency in the Department of Insurance and continue the Department’s mission to fight for consumers across the state.”

AB 2370 now heads to the State Senate for further action.

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