D.C., Md., Va. advocates oppose WMATA safety board secrecy

Transparency advocatees from D.C., Maryland and Virginia jointly urged legislators to ensure the public and news media have access to meetings and documents of the Metrorail Safety Commission proposed to oversee the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”). The D.C. Open Government Coalition; the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Press Association; and Virginia Coalition for Open Government sent letters Aug. 18 to key lawmakers in the three jurisdictions seeking amendments to a proposed interstate compact to establish the safety commission.

Legislation is already pending in the District (Bill 21-828), and lawmakers are expected to introduced identical bills when the Maryland and Virginia legislatures' 2017 sessions begin. The current bill alludes to an expectation of openness as a matter of policy, but falls short of mandating public access, and does not provide any enforcement mechanism. Continue…