State budget would gut transparency in North Carolina’s government, outrageously keep public in the dark

RALEIGH – After months of secret deal-making by a handful of powerful politicians behind closed doors, legislative leaders revealed a 625-page state budget on Wednesday. Less than 48 hours later, and with a midnight vote in the House along the way, the budget was rammed through both chambers. It now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper for his consideration.

Buried in the mammoth document are alarming provisions that would gut transparency in state government. The provisions would bar the public from having access to critical documents related to essential work of the legislature, including the creation of North Carolina’s voting districts.

“These anti-transparency provisions are an insult to North Carolina,” said Jane Pinsky with Common Cause North Carolina. “It seems some politicians currently occupying the People’s House have forgotten that the records they produce belong to the public because it reflects the people’s business.  As voters, as taxpayers, as North Carolinians, we have a fundamental right to know what legislators are doing inside our legislature. We need more sunshine – not less – on the lawmaking process.”

Common Cause North Carolina joined other good-government organizations in sending a letter to legislative leaders opposing the anti-transparency provisions in the state budget.

Common Cause North Carolina is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.