By: State Rep Linda Dean Campbell – April, 2015
Constituents and members of the press often run into significant roadblocks trying to obtain public records. These include excessive wait times and excessive fees charged which prove to be an insurmountable barrier for constituents attempting to access government publications and records which are public property.
A greater use of electronic record keeping for both storage and ease of distribution is also very much required. Ready access to public records is also absolutely necessary to ensure that our Government and its bureaucracy remain accountable to the people and operates in the light of day.
Very often, votes are taken up quickly in the House of Representatives when the Speaker has the momentum and votes needed to pass legislation. It is therefore equally important to the functioning of our democracy that policy makers in the Legislature, as well as our citizens and press, have timely access to vital information.
I am co-sponsoring a bill in the House that enjoys broad bipartisan support to reform our outdated public record laws. I am encouraged by the support of Governor Baker, who has joined the swell of public opinion supporting this very much needed reform. The primary sponsor of the bill is Representative Kocot of Northampton. It is House bill H.2772 and can be reviewed at www.malegislature.gov.
I strongly look forward to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives this session to make this needed reform happen.
Please do not hesitate to contact me: Linda.Campbell@mahouse.gov/617.722.2000