This past Tuesday, May 26th, with standing room only, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight heard testimony on bills to fix our broken public records system. Currently, our law, which is supposed to make executive and municipal records open if not specifically exempt, is broken and instead blocks citizens’ access to what should be free information. Due to outdated technology, bureaucratic complexity and delay, as well as weak enforcement mechanisms that promote noncompliance, those with a need – and right – to know what their government is doing are unable to find out. Common Cause has therefore joined with other groups in the Massachusetts Freedom of Information Alliance to push for a reformed public records law. We testified together at Tuesday’s hearing, and with unprecedented support for reform in the media, we have succeeded in getting our message heard across the state.
Below is a round up detailing some of the coverage we have gotten and the momentum that is building in our favor!
Common Cause Bulletin - Outpouring of support in favor of Mass. Public Records Modernization Bills
Worcester Telegram - Weak public records law assailed at Statehouse hearing
Daily Hampshire Gazette - State Rep. Peter Kocot backs legislation to update Massachusetts Public Record Law
South Coast Today - Rep. Antonio Cabral: State's public records law must change
The Andover Townsman - Editorial: Time to reform public records law
Commonwealth Magazine - Public Records Issue Gets Heavy Coverage
Boston Herald - Top State Official Trying to Toughen Public Records Law
Eagle-Tribune - Lawmakers Urged to Updater Archaic Public Records Laws