May 15, 2009

Seeking transparency in Carson City

In hopes of making Carson City more transparent and accountable, Las Vegas Review-Journal editor Thomas Mitchell of the Nevada Freedom of Information Coalition is trying to get all members of the Legislature to sign a "transparency pledge".

At a news conference Thursday at the Sawyer Building, Mitchell said the nonpartisan Freedom of Information Coalition was formed to promote and defend Nevadans' rights to access public records and the public decision-making process.

Mitchell and the NevadaFOIC seek to emulate the success of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act by making state expenditures clear for all to see and to "strengthen the letter and spirit of Nevada’s open meeting and public records laws" by including Nevada lawmakers under its jurisdiction.

Because Nevada lawmakers are currently excluded by open meeting laws, both Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley and State Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio have defended the use of the secret meetings as a way to accomplish the state's business without worrying about being "bombarded by special interest groups."

We applaud NevadaFOIC and hope their efforts gain traction. See if your representative has signed the pledge and encourage them to do so if they have not.