On August 23, 2016, Governor Brown signed SB 1436 (Bates), which mandates that local agencies report out certain information before changing the compensation or benefits of their “executives.” Under this new law, legislative bodies (e.g., city councils, boards of supervisors, or boards of directors) for agencies must “orally report a summary of a recommendation” for changes in salaries or benefits before voting for the changes. The votes must then take place in the open session portions of their meetings.
SB 1436 is part of an evolving trend toward requiring greater transparency concerning the compensation of high-ranking local officials following the City of Bell scandal. Among the open-government measures that have been implemented previously, local agencies must now report their employee salaries to the State Controller and must abide by a number of limitations before changing the compensation and benefits of their high-ranking officers.
The following questions and answers are intended to provide a convenient reference for understanding and applying the new law. Continue Reading