Lawmakers studying whether public records law should apply to themselves

BOSTON — A group of lawmakers studying whether to extend the state public records law to cover themselves and their colleagues kicked off its work Tuesday, an effort they said would primarily involve listening to the public.

Chaired by Rep. Jennifer Benson Lunenburg and Sen. Walter Timilty of Milton, the commission plans to meet next in March and invite organizations including Common Cause, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation to testify.

“We’re really here to listen and take in all of the input from the stakeholders, both outlined in the legislation and the public, and see where that leads us,” Benson said after the meeting. “This is, I think, a publicly led effort.”

A 2016 public records reform law law created the commission and assigned it the task of examining “the accessibility of information concerning the legislative process” and the constitutionality of extending the public records law to the Legislature, the governor and the Judiciary.

Benson told the News Service the commission will need to drill down to specifics as it looks at legislative records. Read more…