For more information contact: Michael Howard 651-296-4169
Saint Paul, Minnesota – Minnesota has received a D- grade for openness and transparency in state government from a report conducted by the Center for Public Integrity, a national non-profit watchdog organization.
The report highlights backroom negotiations and the chaotic conclusion of the 2015 session as areas where Minnesota’s government comes up short in terms of its openness to the public.
House DFL Leader Paul Thissen released this statement:
"Minnesotans, and legislators in particular, should be appalled at this report, although it is certainly not surprising after witnessing the mockery of legislative process that occurred on the last night of the 2015 session. Jamming through $100 million in spending in a nearly 100 page bill that no one - not even the Speaker - had a chance to read is unacceptable. And the House Republican majority's decision to hold our 2016 session in an active construction zone, locking out most of the public from the debate, does not make raise my hopes that next year will be any better.
We owe it to our constituents to step up and take responsibility for making our process more transparent and open to the public - even if it causes discomfort for legislators. It's not just a matter of crafting good policy. The lack of transparency and the sense that special interests are pulling strings behind the scenes is threatening our democracy. Too many people are losing trust in their government and disconnecting from the political process.
We took important steps in 2013 to make the process more transparent and I plan to bring forward additional proposals in 2016 to make our work even more open to and accountable to the public. For instance, never again should legislators (and their constituents) be given less than 24 hours to review a bill before they have to vote on it."
More information about the report from the Center of Public Integrity can be found here: http://www.publicintegrity.org/accountability/state-integrity-investigation/state-integrity-2015
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