Assemblyman Solorio sponsors a bad bill that will limit public information

Assemblyman Jose Solorio learned politics while serving on the City Council of the only city in Orange County that does not have a public information officer, Santa Ana. Here he learned how to run a closed government, which is what Santa Ana City Manager Dave Ream and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido prefer. Apparently Solorio has taken this philosophy with him to Sacramento as he has now written an inane measure, A.B. 1978, which will continue the Santa Ana tradition of shutting the people out, and overcharging us in the process.

Orange Punch
summed it A.B. 1978 this way, “Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, is a carrying a bill at the urging of the county of Orange that would exempt computer mapping systems from the public records act, so that counties could sell information to vendors but not need to release it to members of the public for the nominal fee allowed under the public information laws.”

Being able to generate maps for free on the Internet is immensely useful. I do this almost daily. Granted, many people are now buying GPS software so they can do this without using computers, but the mapping data probably comes from the government. Solorio is now trying to fix it so governments will be able to charge us for data we already paid for, via our taxes.

The funny part, if there is one, is that Solorio’s bill just plain sucks. From the Register: “It’s a very badly written bill,” said Bruce Joffe of Oakland, who has worked with computer maps for 30 years and has led several computer mapping organizations. “If the idea was to clear up some ambiguities and inconsistencies of the California Public Records Act, this just makes the mess worse,” he said.”

Solorio reacted to questions from a Register reporter with this boneheaded quote, “I don’t want it to mean less people will get public data from the county.” But that is EXACTLY what A.B. 1978 will accomplish.

Thank God that many good people are opposing Solorio’s latest gaffe. In fact, according to Orange Punch, the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) has announced it is opposing Solorio’s bill. Here are some of the comments made in a letter from this association to Solorio:

CNPA submits AB 1978 would price most members of the public right out of the market. Moreover, while we claim no technical expertise on GIS systems, we note that technological developments continue to expand rather than restrict the ability of information to flow freely format-to-format and system-to-system. Your bill appears to set up artificial barriers to the public

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.