Published On: Mon, Nov 23rd, 2015

Tell your state senator to pass a stronger public records reform bill

The House took an important first step by passing a public records bill last week. I hope you’ll see the House’s reforms and raise them significantly. Massachusetts needs a stronger bill.

The challenge is tremendous. It’s embarrassing that Massachusetts continually gets an “F” grade for our open government laws, and lags behind the rest of the nation.

We need serious reform, or we’ll remain at the bottom of the barrel. More important, we need serious reform to truly increase transparency and accountability in government.

The Senate public records reform bill needs to:

1) Contain more cost containment measures so that excessive fees don’t block access to public records.
2) Reduce response times for public records requests to make sure information is timely and relevant.
3) Streamline bureaucracy so that enforcement of the law is straightforward and effective.

This issue gets to the heart of government integrity and responsiveness to the concerns of its citizens.

Please act quickly to ensure that the final legislation makes Massachusetts a leader in transparent government.