LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Southland lawmaker on Friday claimed a major win for taxpayers across California after a judge’s ruling that calls for more tranparency in Sacramento.
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino has fought for the passage of the Legislative Open Records Act ever since his budget was cut by Assembly Speaker John Perez last year.
On Friday, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled in favor of the Los Angeles Times and The Sacramento Bee in their lawsuit seeking spending records for each Assembly member, the Associated Press reported.
The suit stems from a feud between Perez and Portantino, who blames Perez for slashing his office budget in retaliation for voting against the state budget, the Associated Press reported.
But as Portantino told KNX 1070, the legal battle goes well beyond his personal feud with Perez.
“The decision was so firm, so clear, and so scathing that the Assembly must make its budgets available that it’s my understanding the Assembly attorneys chose not to make oral arguments today in court,” Portantino said.
Despite the legal victory, however, the La Cañada Flintridge lawmaker isn’t expecting immediate reforms to take place in Sacramento.
“The same leaders who tried to make this all about budget belt-tightening have just issued raises,” Portantino said. “It’s like their tone deaf.”
A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker John Perez told the Associated Press the Assembly has no immediate plans to appeal.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)