Maryland lawmakers use loophole to dodge open meetings law

The Prince George's County delegation in the Maryland House of Delegates will not meet Friday, but the Democratic caucus of that delegation will. The membership of the delegation and the caucus are precisely the same. The difference is that where delegation meetings are generally open to the public, party caucus meetings are not. 

Caucus meetings in counties with single-party delegations are a popular way for Maryland lawmakers to hash out local issues free from the prying eyes of the public. But the practice, defended by delegation members, raises red flags among advocates of open government.

"We're very concerned any time they use a loophole in the Open Meetings Act to avoid transparency," said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland. Continue…