March 15, 2011

State level transparency still lacking

In honor of Sunshine Week, the Associated Press takes a look at state level transparency efforts and finds that while small advances are being made, numerous hurdles still remain:

More openness in government. Lawmakers across the country, including the Republicans who took control in many states this year, say they want it. But a survey of all 50 states by The Associated Press has found that efforts to boost openness often are being thwarted by old patterns of secrecy.

The survey did find signs of progress in a number of states, especially in technological efforts to make much more information available online. But there also are restrictions being put in place for recent electronic trends, such as limits on access to officials' text messages.
The piece even mentions how the Nevada Legislature is exempted from the state's open-meeting law, because it is not considered a "public body."