Let the Sunshine In
If one wanted to research committee voting histories of a member of the General Assembly, you would have to:
- Go to Annapolis (easy for me, but not for a lot of Marylanders);
- Visit the Committee Staffers for that particular committee;
- Ask them for their Committee Records
- Hope the Committee Chairman allows them to be made public (this is NOT at all a certainty);
- Pour through countless copies of paper records to determine a member's voting record.
The fact of the matter is that open government is better government, partiuclarly in a state such as Marylan where such a large amount of business is conducted in committee, and particularly in a state in which the elected officials are a little less on the ethically straight and narrow than one would hope. Particularly important when you consider that it was members of the Senate Finance Committee, to name one such group, who were incredibly nervous when former Senator Tommy Bromwell took a deal in 2007. Committees in Annaolis are incredibly influential; their level of influence demands accountability and accessibility to records in this modern time.
I encourage all Republicans, including ALL members of Republican House and Senate Caucuses, to support such this legislation during the upcoming General Assembly session. Maybe if Marylanders truly knew what was happening in Annapolis, they'd be more inclined to seek the change our state so desperately needs...