General Assembly Mostly Has Open Meetings….Except for the Really Important Ones

Yay, according to Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, the Generally Assembly abided by the open meetings law–which they don’t think applies to them–abut 90% of the time. Political cover: check. Of course, as the ProJo reports and RI Common Cause’s John Marion emphasizes, that’s like saying you spent more days in first place even if you ended up losing the division and not making the playoffs.

[T]he report follows a formula established over a decade ago that weighs violations equally, no matter when during the legislative session they occur….Common Cause believes that it is time to create an additional measure, and include it in the report, that takes into account when the violations occur. The bulk of the important votes in committee and on the floor occur in the final days of the session and the public expects the same level of openness on the part of their elected leaders in June as they do in January.

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13 years ago

Yeah, but they vote to suspend the rules so the rules don’t apply to them, right?
What we really need is a set of rules that our Assembly must abide by and the only way to change them is by a vote of the people. You want to change the rules, let’s think about it, not on some whim at 10 pm in June.

13 years ago

Not only are the “important” ones closed, but they take their time even resolving the issue, and there suppose to be “important”. Why does everything have to be so complicated and dragged out. What’s right is right, and wrong is wrong. This is just common sense! Who are we really trying to protect in these closed meetings? If I have a claim against a public body, they are protected, but I am not. You put on public records the name of the person who has filed a complaint against the government official(s) as if they are not “important”. Now we are an open target when most of us just want what is fair. People who are in higher positions ought to be more accountable! If I break the law, then I must suffer the consequenses, yet some that are suppose to uphold the law not only break it, but in some municipalities, try and bury it. I don’t agree with some of our cities policies! In Glocester Rhode Island, if you have a complaint against one of it’s police officers, you must go to the police department to file your claim. I don’t know about most people, but that is very intimidating! I think it’s time that we start being a little bit more open about things. If you’ve done nothing wrong, then what is there to hide?

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