BREAKING: AK Lawmaker- No Room for Transparency
Alaska Senator Pete Kelly (R), Co-Chair of the Finance Committee, has a space problem. Alaska has a transparency problem. While Republicans in the Senate are stripping bills from certain oversight committees, that doesn’t seem like enough. Now Senator Pet Kelly just wants a hiding spot.
In a memo sent to lawmakers on February 14, Kelly announced Alaska’s business, because of lack of room, would be holding meetings in the private offices of lawmakers. I know! I was hoping for flowers and got a hacked up version of Democracy.
“Due to the hectic Nature of the 90 day session, scheduling conflicts and the overall lack of available meeting space in the building, some department subcommittee overviews may be held in individual legislative offices this session. These informal overviews offer subcommittee members more opportunities to learn the details and reach a better understanding of the Governor’s operating budget proposal.”
Really, Mr. Kelly? How does that pass muster with Alaska law and the Open Meetings Act? Is the governor’s budget so bad that you have to take it to a back room? Because that’s not how we roll…legally.
It clearly states:
The Open Meetings Act requires that all meetings of public bodies are open to the public and that the public body must provide reasonable notice of its meetings. In essence, the Open Meetings Act protects the public’s right to know. To accomplish this, the act requires that:
- All deliberations and action taken by a public entity must be done in public view, with limited exceptions;
- The public must be provided prior knowledge of all steps occurring in the decision making process, with limited exceptions; and
- Individual actions of an official are made known.
Seems pretty clear, Mr. Kelly. The Alaskan people are miles and miles away from Juneau and rely on Gavel To Gavel to follow legislation. How much room do you have in your office? Since Lesil McGuire harvested as much office space as she could for her palatial office – maybe you could use hers. But wait! Your individual offices don’t have cameras. How convenient.
kellyleg <—- (Double click through for Kelly’s memo)