Will the state's legislature enact a bill aimed at making the refusal to comply with requests for public records an offense with a $50 fine? Is that even close to the correct action? Also in the bill up for consideration, "Sunshine in Government Improvement Act of 2006", it states that officials may not meet privately to debate/discuss business, and recently the Attorney General has issued several opinions that the law applies to a wide range of government and advisory boards.
Sadly, an ammendment filed by Sen. Cohen would defer all action on the bill to a committee whose final report would not see the light of day until Feb. 2007. Seems that if this is approved, those seeking re-election could avoid the entire issue.
A $50 fine seems too little, in my opinion. Give this bill some teeth by making the punishment removal from office for those who refuse access and resolve this lack of accountability in government. And the same punishment should apply to elected officials who meet outside of public view to discuss the people's business.
Or will we wait until another federal investigation finds more bribes and influence peddling at the state capitol?
UPDATE: Sadly, numerous county commissions across the state, as well as some city and school officials, have gone on record as opposing this legislation. This despite actions by elected officials taken almost daily to observe and correct behavior of it's residents - whether in traffic, seeking medical assistance, or buying cold medication. While residents comply the state hides from scrutiny.