3/11: Sunshine law and transparency

By the AJC Editorial Board

It is a central tenet of our government that, to the greatest extent practicable, the people’s business should be conducted within plain view of the governed. Routine, overreaching secrecy conflicts with the public interest and has no place in America, its statehouses and town halls. Any exemptions from the robust pursuit of open governance should be well-grounded in common-sense sentiment and drafted as narrowly as possible.

Georgia will move closer to that ideal if a bill passed by the House  is likewise approved in the Senate and becomes law. That should happen this session. The legislation is not perfect, but it’s rarely been more appropriate than here to cite the old saying that we cannot let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

Read the rest of what the AJC Editorial Board has to say and read another view by Sam Olens, Georgia’s attorney general,  and Rep. Jay Powell, who introduced HB 397 in the Georgia House.  Then tell us what you think.

9 comments Add your comment

middleground

March 11th, 2012
8:32 pm

If only the press in America would sunshine all news and not just their politics………….vet the President, you didn’t in 2008.

Bernie

March 11th, 2012
12:52 pm

Geogia’s State Leaders has always been a cesspool of “good ole boys” who sees a Gerogia of Them & the rest of US. Their backward thinking is always front and center and they choose Backwards at every voting opportunity. This is the nature of the beast. There is no sunshine nor transparency in their own houses, how would anything differ in the People’s House.

Dave

March 11th, 2012
12:17 pm

If we ask our young men and women to fight for our country, the least we can do here at home is to fight for an open government. Get off your hind quarters, and fight for right.

@@

March 11th, 2012
9:08 am

It enables government to act more efficiently by permitting certain meetings by teleconference in emergency situations.

With government, “emergencies” justify a slew of wrongdoings.

Recalling when I worked for Clayton County’s BoC, taxpayers were always needing copies of documents. It was my job to provide at a cost deemed appropriate by the county. Never made sense to me. The taxpayers were already paying for the materials and my time. The cost was ten cents a page. If the total number fell below ten, I charged ZERO. Above ten? One cent for every ten copies.

I figured what THEY DON’T KNOW won’t hurt ‘em.

Freedom Lover

March 10th, 2012
10:16 pm

Oops, sunshine, not sonshine.

Freedom Lover

March 10th, 2012
10:15 pm

What would be better than a sonshine law is a SUNSET law. Every law expires in two years – PERIOD. Keep the legislature constantly justifying laws and working to keep up with those are are constantly expiring and we might again have freedom in this state. Every law that involves the harm of another or the destruction of private property can stay on the books forever, as they are REAL laws. All the rest are just political crap and should be forced to be renewed every two years. That would finally put the legislature’s focus on what is important rather than their focus on destroying our freedoms and liberties.

Skeptical

March 10th, 2012
6:48 pm

If the AJC Editorial Board is in favor then someone better take a second look at this legislation.

Hillbilly D

March 10th, 2012
3:04 pm

It’s a small step but that’s better than standing still. I like the 10¢ a copy. I know of one Probate Court where they charge $1 a copy and you look up your own info and make your own copies, not a certified copy just a xerox copy..

nelson

March 10th, 2012
7:07 am

I like that 10 cents a page for copying. I wanted a transcript of a NYS Supreme Court case that was 4 or 5 pages and the court stenographer charged me $150.00. I am sure that the legal people get those transcripts for nothing but a member of the public pays “big time”.
In my opinion making information available, but confusing to find or expensive is just as bad as a dictatorship, maybe nor quite that intrusive on the rights but certainly in favor of a few insiders.
IGeorgia is making people a part of the democratic process.