ONE Massachusetts Project Director, Yawu Miller, submitted testimony about the importance of passing this bill, and of adding a provision to the Act that would mandate that the disclosures submitted by lobbyists under the terms of this bill be made public in an indexed, searchable database within a week of their submission. [Miller’s Testimony]
Beyond the importance of government transparency, issues up for discussion in yesterday’s hearing included:
- Reluctance to support Representative Jennifer Callahan's proposal to apply the “open meeting law” to the Legislature, including opening caucuses up to the public
- The omission of campaign financing reform
- The impact that the new reform would have on people helping prepare materials or strategies for lobby lawmakers
- The impact the bill would have on small non profit organizations doing advocacy work for their constituencies.
Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause and a member of the Governor’s Ethics Task Force, explained that the task force had had a very limited time frame to develop a more comprehensive transparency reform that would include campaign finance.
ONE Massachusetts believes that with this bill, Governor Deval Patrick is taking a strong step in making our government more transparent and more accessible for all. Initiatives like this reinforce our trust in government and our civic engagement activities that help us have a more inclusive political process. If you would like to know more about the current bill and the impact it would have on non profits across the state, please join the ONE Massachusetts team next Wednesday March 25th for a conversation with Pam Wilmot about these issues. [Event Info]
The hearing included members of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight together with the House Committee on Ethics and the Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules [More Information].