Tuesday, February 2, 2016
This week the Senate will debate changes to our state's public records law, the first major reform since 1973. I have offered some changes to make the new law stronger and more effective.
“Civic engagement and the strength of our democracy depend on the public availability and accessibility of information that can foster understanding, inform decisions and empower oversight,” said Tarr, who added that, “passing strong, workable and practical legislation to modernize and strengthen our public records law is and should be a legislative priority.”
- Require the display of the cost of taxes on diesel fuel and gasoline on the pumps where they are dispensed.
- Establish a Public Records Assistance Fund for grants to municipalities for the acquisition of information technology, training and education to boost records compliance
- Strengthen the Attorney General’s ability to compel compliance with records requests by including language that allows the AG to require compliance even in situations where an agency or municipality did not respond to or acknowledge a public records request
- Make public information pertaining to the MBTA pension fund
- Include contracts and invoices over $500,000.00 as a part of the Massachusetts open checkbook system, which would provide clarity and information to the public on the expenses of the state government
- Require signs to be posted in all stations and terminals displaying a percentage breakdown of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) sources of funding, including state subsidies and fare collections.
Posted by Bruce Tarr at 12:21 PM