Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill strengthening the state’s open records law that had been approved unanimously by the legislature. The bill would have allowed those who were denied documents by state agencies or local governments to get a second opinion from the Attorney General’s office. AB2927, written by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, was approved unanimously by the Assembly and state Senate. Schwarzenegger’s reasoning was that the bill would create a conflict of interest for the Attorney General, which is required to represent state agencies in court. Cal Aware General Counsel Terry Francke said that the conflict of interest issue was resolved in the legislation. Francke said the governor’s staff would have seen that there was no conflict if they had read the legislation. [More in the California Newspaper Publishers Association legislative bulletin] [Bay Guardian blog of Amanda Witherell]

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