Veto bill weakening transparency and public records access
  1. United States
  2. N.J.
  3. Letter

Veto bill weakening transparency and public records access

To: Gov. Murphy

From: A constituent in Montclair, NJ

May 16

<message> The revised Open Public Records Act (OPRA) bill being fast-tracked in the New Jersey Legislature should be vetoed. Numerous groups have raised valid concerns that the proposed changes would severely restrict public access to government records and undermine transparency. The amendments do little to address the widespread opposition voiced against the initial bill. Provisions allowing agencies to deny requests for officials' emails, making it difficult for the public to recover legal fees, and enabling agencies to sue individuals over records requests that could "impair" operations remain highly problematic. Introducing the possibility of outright banning people from filing requests statewide is an egregious overreach. Rather than decimating OPRA as advocates warn, New Jersey should be expanding access and strengthening this crucial transparency law. An overwhelming 81% of voters oppose tightening public records access according to recent polling. Transparency and public oversight are cornerstones of democracy. Gutting OPRA would erode accountability and enable corruption and misconduct to fester unchecked. I urge you to veto this deeply flawed bill that undermines public faith in our institutions. </message>

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