May 13, 2009

NV legislature chooses secrecy over openness

When a state faces upwards of a $1 billion funding shortfall, one might think making sure everything stays out in the open and on the record is a good thing.

But not everybody:

Although the Legislature has held dozens of public hearings on the general fund over the past three months, lawmakers have retreated to the shadows to determine how to pay for it all. (Emphasis mine)

Nevada's open meeting law was created to ensure the public's business is conducted in public. That no binding votes are taking place in these meetings is irrelevant, as is the fact that lawmakers can exempt themselves from the statute. Their actions represent a clear violation of the spirit of this vital law. (Emphasis mine)

But why would our faithful and honest representatives do such a thing? By keeping any tax increases quiet until the last possible moment, the opposition never has a chance to galvanize.

Shame on our Nevada legislators for hammering out the details behind closed doors. The people of Nevada deserve better.

Make sure to check out the Sun's take on it too.