House lawmakers whiffed this week on two softball chances to bring more sunshine and accountability to government. One bill would have made probable cause affidavits open records. These affidavits, in which police officers give reasons for asking a judge to issue an arrest warrant, are presumed open in at least 45 other states (and they’ve had no problems). The other bill would have allowed a public official to object to participating in a closed or executive session, if that person believed it violated the state’s open meetings law. At that point, if the meeting continued, it would have to be recorded for possible review by a judge. As our editorial on today’s opinion page notes, these were modest, compromise measures that would have provided some needed openness and scrutiny â€” which is likely why the district attorneys, cities, counties and school board associations were so vigorously opposed to them.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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