Legislative Forecast: Partly Cloudy
Today's smog-ish cloud cover coincides with the repeated refusal on the part of prominent state lawmakers to admit that sunshine on ethics proceedings might not be so bad afterall.
To back up, lawmakers have done some great deeds in passing substantial lobbying and ethics reforms last year. But there's a fatal flaw–the newly-created ethics commission's hearings will be closed to the public and the media. That's a step back from what we've had in the Executive branch for 30 years. And it means that legislation that's supposed to restore public confidence has sanctioned closed-door maneuverings.
The line of defense for the sealed meetings seems to be that lawmakers should be protected from petty complaints. But people seem to forget that there's a whole process before meetings would be open to the public called "determining probable cause".
I know you shouldn't ever look directly at the sun but couldn't lawmakers take a closer look than they are?