RW&G

REMINDER - BROWN ACT AMENDMENT REQUIRES COMPENSATION DISCLOSURE

January 2012

AB 23, effective January 1, 2012, amended the Brown Act to establish a new requirement for local agencies with legislative bodies that hold simultaneous or sequential meetings.  The Brown Act now requires a verbal disclosure of the compensation or stipend that members of the “subsequent” legislative body will receive as a result of the convening of the simultaneous or sequential meeting. 

The Legislature enacted AB 23 largely in response to perceived compensation abuses in the City of Bell.  AB 23 adds Section 54952.3 to the Government Code.  Section 54952.3 now provides that if one legislative body has convened a meeting and the membership of that legislative body constitutes a quorum of another legislative body, then the “first” legislative body cannot convene a simultaneous or sequential meeting of the “subsequent” legislative body unless a verbal compensation disclosure is made by either a clerk or a member of the first legislative body. The disclosure must include two components:  (1) the amount of compensation or stipend, if any, that each legislative body member will be entitled to receive as a result of convening the meeting of the subsequent legislative body; and (2) a statement that the compensation or stipend shall be provided as a result of convening a meeting for which each member is entitled to collect compensation or a stipend. 

There is one exception built into the new Brown Act requirement: the first component of the disclosure is not required if the amount of compensation is prescribed by state law and no additional compensation has been authorized by the local agency.  Additionally, compensation does not include amounts reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred by an official in the performance of official duties.

In sum, if your local agency currently holds simultaneous or sequential meetings of its city council, town council or board of directors, and another legislative body constituting a quorum of this same city council, town council or board of directors, then your agency will need to comply with this new requirement.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Christopher J. Diaz at 213-626-8484 or any of the other public law attorneys at Richards, Watson & Gershon.


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