Open Meetings Penalty Legislation Draws Bi-Partisan Support

A January 24 article discusses the bipartisan sponsors on legislation introduced by Delegate Dan Morhaim to allow the Open Meetings Compliance Board to impose fines against public bodies that violate Maryland’s Open Meetings Act.

This bipartisan legislation, HB331, has 18 co-sponsors,  including House Majority Leader Kumar Barve and 10 other Democrats and Minority  Leader Tony O’Donnell and six other Republicans.

Barve said that Morhaim’s bill was a no-brainer.  “Why wouldn’t you  support it?” he said, adding that government transparency was an “important  issue” to address in this legislative session.

Morhaim has said that financial  penalties were necessary to increase compliance with the board’s rulings,  which “tend to be ignored” by government officials since the board does not have  the power to punish anyone.


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