Time to End Legislative Exemptions from Public Records & Open Meeting Laws

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+
Under Massachusetts law, the state Legislature is not considered a “public body” in the traditional sense, and therefore enjoys exemptions from open meeting and public records laws. Pioneer Institute believes this is unconstitutional. The state constitution says the Legislature should be accountable to citizens “at all times.”
The laws that apply to municipalities and the rest of state government should also apply to the Legislature. The 2016 public records reform law failed to adequately address this exemption but did establish a special legislative commission to look into the issue further. The commission’s report was supposed to be submitted to the House and Senate Clerks’ Offices by December 30, 2017. Unfortunately, the deadline was quietly extended to December 1, 2018. In February of 2018, the commission began its work on the matter.
Through PioneerLegal, Pioneer Institute’s public-interest law initiative, we reviewed the state’s constitution and existing statutes and concluded that the legislative exemptions from public records law and open meeting laws are unconstitutional. To give input on this issue, we have sent an open letter to the chairs of the legislative commission detailing the argument. Please read our letter here.

Letter to Public Records Commission 4-3-18 by Pioneer Institute on Scribd

(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “https://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();
Related Posts:

Does Mass. exclude low-achievers from national education tests?

/
Last week, in reporting the national test results on how our…

What will adoption of national standards cost Massachusetts schools?

/
It’s always struck me as odd that with all the talk about…

Could Solyndra have happened in Massachusetts?

/
Solyndra could serve as a textbook case for the dangers of government…

In New England, Massachusetts leads job growth - for state employees

/
I reached out about a month and a half ago to Governor Patrick's…

Patrick Admin's Misdiagnosis on ACA Transparency

/
This post was co-written by Michael Morisy. During this year’s…

Will Massachusetts' Evergreen Solar secrets go to the grave with it?

/
Now that Evergreen Solar is filing for bankruptcy, the question…

Fight of the Century

/
Education does not only take place in our schools, though we…

Tax-exempt only in name

/
“Fairness” is one of the most abused words in politics. And…

Governor Deval Patrick's Missing Chapter on Transparency

/
Governor Deval Patrick's new autobiography, "A Reason to Believe:…

We may need someone to monitor Monitor

/
(Image from Mother Jones) The Boston Globe piece by Farah Stockman…

VIDEO: Is Beacon Hill Rigged?

/
On a quiet Friday afternoon during the holidays, Beacon Hill…