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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?

One Comment

  1. Grady

    March 27, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Nice post. I’m with you; closing off the ethics hearings shows remarkably little confidence in the maturity of the voters, and their ability to sort wheat from chaff when given all the information.