Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Legislature, judicary and Governor's office are still expemt from public records law.


From the Globe: A Massachusetts legislative panel has been disbanded after failing for two years to reach an agreement on whether to expand the public records law to cover the Legislature, judiciary, and governor’s office.
The Special Legislative Commission on Public Records missed its final deadline last month to file a report making recommendations, disappointing some lawmakers and advocates for open government.
“The inability of the commission to find common ground is an epic failure that weakens our democracy,” said Mary Connaughton, director of government transparency for the Pioneer Institute, a Boston think tank. “The Legislature has kicked the can down the road again, and with it the public trust.”
Massachusetts is the only state in the nation where the Legislature, judiciary, or governor’s office all claim to be completely exempt from state public records laws. And even when agencies are covered, the law is laden with exemptions that state agencies routinely cite to deny a wide variety of records, ranging from police reports of officers caught driving drunk to résumés for new hires.
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The Legislature overhauled key aspects of the public records law in 2016, including requiring state agencies and municipalities to designate someone to field requests, setting new limits on fees, and giving people the opportunity to potentially recoup legal fees if they are forced to sue to obtain public records.

 

7 Comments:

At January 10, 2019 at 1:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another example of how deadlines don't seem to matter to anyone in MA government. We should vote them all out!

 
At January 10, 2019 at 1:43 PM , Blogger jim Pillsbury said...

oh yeah
I wonder what Ms. Robinson has to say about the lack of transparency on the hill.
And I'm almost positive that DeLeo had a hand in this not being completed.

 
At January 10, 2019 at 2:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the things that Rep. Robinson touted she would address when she was running. Let's hope she meant it.

 
At January 10, 2019 at 2:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks the MA legislature is going to actually become transparent they have been drinking the cool aid too long.

 
At January 10, 2019 at 3:16 PM , Blogger jim Pillsbury said...

I'll take a hit of that cool-aid. I still believe, we as plain old citizens can demand transparency in our state government and should get it.

 
At January 10, 2019 at 4:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key word in your last statement is we CAN demand....problem is they don't listen

 
At January 10, 2019 at 8:24 PM , Blogger jim Pillsbury said...

sad but true... but we can't stop demanding

 

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