Note: I have not been involved in lobbying creating this bill. I am so far able to attend and testify, so I intend to do so barring being required to be present at a sudden emergency court date to protect a client, which can occur with less than 24 hours notice. I will be filing a “white paper”. The bill number is H848.
The reality that at this time the legislature is exempt from any requirements as to openness, and that having the legislature totally exempt from any requirement of openness is harmful, and has led to some extremely bad legislation, at least in my opinion. The total lack of any requirement to “do business in the open” may be a factor in ‘the temptation and fall of Sal DiMasi’ – certainly it is far more likely that shady doings will occur when there is no requirement that any discussions or decisions happen in the open.
Here is the information, for those who may wish to attend and testify:
:STATE ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE – PUBLIC RECORDS: Bills altering the public records and open meeting laws are on the agenda for a State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee hearing Tuesday. Among the proposals are the Massachusetts Sunshine Bill (H 828), Rep. Thomas Stanley’s bill to include the Legislature in the open meeting law (H 848), and Rep. Antonio Cabral’s bill to enhance access to electronic public records (H 1736). The agenda also includes Sen. Patricia Jehlen’s plan for inspection of campus police logs (S 1582) and Rep. Shaunna O’Connell’s bill dealing with online information about sex offenders (H 1745). (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room B-1)
I do have a similar post “up” at BMG. The reality that there is less and less open debate, and NO open meeting law at all for Beacon Hill should be a bi-partisan or non-partisan good government issue.