03/10/2017

Government Transparency and Efficiency

Proposal for a legislative amendment to the Constitution establishing an independent redistricting commission – S.11

This constitutional amendment would create an independent redistricting committee to update House, Senate, and US Congressional districts. Currently, the members of the redistricting committee are sitting legislators. Under this amendment the committee members would be chosen by sitting legislators, the governor, the attorney general, and the secretary of state.

An Act relative to transparency of economic development spending – S.180

Massachusetts invests heavily in economic development each year – and yet we currently lack the data necessary to assess total spending or to judge the impact of our economic development investments. This bill would promote transparency in economic development spending by ensuring that all relevant information about economic development spending is available to those who foot the bill – the taxpaying public. It would present the total picture of all economic development spending – both through the state and by cities and towns – in one unified budget.

An Act defining court administrative records as public records – S.844

This bill defines records within administrative offices of the courts – including Probation and the Office of the Chief Justice for Administration and Management – as public records subject to freedom of information requests. It does not apply the public records law to confidential criminal justice records or other court records.

An Act establishing a legislative fiscal office – S.1699

This bill establishes a legislative fiscal office to research, review, and analyze the cost of proposed legislation. The findings and recommendations of the office would not be binding upon the legislature. The operation funds for the office must be appropriated by the legislature in each year’s budget as a separate line-item.

An Act enhancing access to electronic public records – S.1702

This bill would require any city or town with a public website to post public records on that website in a searchable, common electronic format, unless such records constitute exceptions under state law.