AIMING HIGH ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY
Access to government records, documents and meetings allow the public and the media to more fully understand the work of government and how and why our elected leaders make the decisions they do
Let's Aim High
Our public records law invites the public to participate fully in our democratic institutions, promoting openness and transparency and engagement for all, not just the few, the powerful, the insiders.
In Massachusetts, however, we've fallen behind. We've been rated one of the worst states in the country for public records access. The Center for Public Integrity gave Massachusetts an F in this category in its "State Integrity Scorecard," in both 2012 and 2015. Last year, our legislature enacted some much-needed public records reforms, the first update since the law was passed back in 1973. It was a good start, but there is more work to do
Massachusetts is one of only two states in which the governor's office claims that it is exempt from public records laws. (The other state, Michigan, has recently introduced legislation to correct this.)
The good news is we don't need legislation to fix this. The decision to be more transparent lies in the Governor's hands. Unfortunately, Governor Baker, throughout his term has refused to turn over many records, citing a special Governor's office exemption. It's not right. The time has come to open up government. Now more than ever, people need to have confidence that their government leaders are working for them.
If I am elected Governor, I will voluntarily comply with the state's public records laws, and I will file legislation to broaden the scope of those laws and end the executive office exemption once and for all.
Governor Baker has taken a "pick-and-choose" approach to turning over public documents. It's not right, and we all deserve better from our elected leaders.
It's time to put the "public" back in "public records." And that's exactly what I'll do as your Governor.