For years (literally) I've been complaining about the secrecy in Oregon's state government. I've even been written off as a conspiracy theorist by some of our Legislators and disability advocates when I've brought it up. Well, as the late, great, Malcolm X would say; "The chickens have come home to roost". Our Attorney General, John Kroger, emailed out the following today. An "F" in transparency??
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
April 27, 2011
Government transparency -- the ability of citizens and media organizations to request and obtain government records in a timely, cost-effective manner -- is vital to a healthy democracy. Unfortunately, our government in Oregon is not as transparent as it should be. A recent nationwide study of government openness gave Oregon a grade of F.
To fix this problem I have proposed Senate Bill 41, a major piece of legislation designed to make Oregon government more open to its citizens. For the first time in our history, Senate Bill 41 would require government to provide records to the public at fair cost and according to strict deadlines. This will prevent state and local government from delaying their response to requests, or charging inflated expenses, when asked to produce records.
However, government lobbyists are trying to prevent passage of this important bill into law. Though the bill currently has bipartisan support, opposition may block the bill. That is why we need your help.
If you agree that we need to make Oregon government more transparent there are two things you can do:
Attend a meeting - The Oregon State Legislature has been holding public meetings across the state to listen to and gather feedback from their constituents. If you can attend any of the upcoming events and express your support for Senate Bill 41 please let us know by responding to this email. We will provide you with information about the bill and answer any questions you may have about our legislation.
Write to these legislative leaders - If you are unable to be present at one of the meetings, you can still be heard. Please send your thoughts to the following Oregon legislators, who serve on the Senate Rules Committee, and urge them to support Senate Bill 41.
Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1700
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301
Senator Ted Ferrioli
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1950
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-323, Salem, OR, 97301
Senator Jason Atkinson
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1702
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-415, Salem, OR, 97301
Senator Lee Beyer
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1706
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-419, Salem, OR, 97301
Senator Ginny Burdick
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1718
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-213, Salem, OR, 97301
We have a tremendous opportunity to make Oregon government more open and transparent. I hope you will help us win this battle.
JOHN R. KROGER