BARIA – House Killing Open Meetings Reform Bill Unfortunate

Last week saw the Open Meetings Act Reform bill die in the House. The bill died sitting on the calendar in a procedural move by the Chairman of the House Judiciary A Committee. Apparently, the Chairman was upset that the bill was amended on the floor of the House to replace some language that we felt was critical when it passed the Senate. When I drafted the bill, one of my goals was to create deterrence to violating the Open Meetings Act. To do so, my version required any fine levied to be paid by the official who violated the Act. This provision was stripped out in House Judiciary A, but replaced by amendment on the floor. This move angered the chairman who held the bill on a Motion to Reconsider then let it die. This is truly unfortunate.