December 19, 2012
Re: Senate to Vote on amended OPRA and OPMA Bills on Thursday
At their last voting Session, the Senate amended S-1451, which amends the Open Public Meetings Act, and S-1452, which amends the Open Public Records Act. The amended bills are now scheduled for a final vote before the Senate on Thursday.
For a full listing of amendments and breakdown of these amendments click here
The League appreciates some of the changes that Senator Weinberg has made to the bills. However, we are concerned with the real world impact of S-1451 and S-1452 on municipal governments. For example, we strongly oppose the continue inclusion of subcommittees. The purposes of subcommittees are to make recommendations to the governing body for the governing body to take action. Subcommittees do not expend public funds nor make binding decisions. That power remains with the governing body.
While well-intended, these bills add a number of requirements and responsibilities to local governments, which are under-staffed and under-funded already. While Senator Weinberg has been thorough in her discussions with stakeholders, including the League, ultimately these bills will not lead to more transparency, but more bureaucracy. We urge you to contact your State Senator expressing your concerns with S-1451 and S-1452 and urge them to vote no on Thursday.
If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Lori Buckelew at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x 112.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.