statehouse

Connaughton, Sivolella: Challenging the Legislature’s Secrecy

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By Mary Z. Connaughton and John Sivolella
Guest Columnists

This article originally appeard in the Milford Daily News. Read it in its entirety.
Posted Apr. 19, 2015 at 7:13 AM

There is a lot of justifiable talk about the need for government transparency these days, but the concept is far from new. In fact, the first Massachusetts transparency laws date back to 1851. It was in that year when the notion of government records shifted from being the property of government to belonging to the public.

In 1973, the state legislature expanded the definition of what constituted a public record and in 1975, it enacted open meeting laws. Together, these transparency laws were meant to promote a more effective, accountable and responsive government. In the wake of Watergate, the legislature seemed to understand that public confidence in government cannot exist without transparency.

That was then, however, and legislative attitudes have changed. Read more

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