Commit to transparency

January 4, 2013 

The Olympian once again calls on state lawmakers to adopt government reforms that bring more transparency and public involvement to their decision-making.

Newspapers and better government groups from around the state have long been advocates for transparency reform on behalf of the citizenry. In this era of public mistrust of politicians there are three concrete actions legislators could take to help restore public confidence in their actions. They include:

 • Require 72-hour public notice before any bill receives a public hearing.

 • Prohibit title-only bills. These ghost bills with no text shouldn’t see the light of day, let alone receive approval based on assumptions of what they will say.

 • Prohibit votes on the final version of a bill until the bill has been available for public review at least 24 hours. The public deserves at least this modicum of scrutiny before a piece of legislation is voted into law, or rejected.

These basic reforms, which would require a constitution amendment, would help build public trust in our Legislature and make government more open and accountable to the public.

Legislators: Just say “no” to the status quo and “yes” to legislative transparency reform.

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