House Minority Whip Blake Filippi to Testify Before the House Finance Committee Calling for Transparency Across State and Local Government
STATE HOUSE -- At the rise of the house on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Minority Whip Blake Filippi (R-District 36 Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly and New Shoreham) will testify before the House Finance Committee on House bills 5382 and 5500. The hearing will take place in room 35 in the Rhode Island State House.
House bills 5382 and 5500 were both introduced by Representative Filippi. House bill 5382 would require audio and video recordings of certain open meetings of municipal government to be transmitted to the secretary of state's office. The secretary of state would be required to post recordings of these open meetings on its website and to be available for public access.
House bill 5500 would require audio and video recordings of all open meetings of state and quasi-public agencies and bodies to be transmitted to the secretary of state's office. The secretary of state would post recordings of all open meetings on its website to be available for public access.
“Cameras and microphones are a testament to open government. There is a lack of transparency among state agencies – including quasi-publics – because they have not recorded their public meetings so that citizens are able to listen to and view those meetings at their convenience,” said Representative Filippi. “With these bills, we are calling for transparency across state government.”
He added, “By requiring audio and video recordings of open meetings, and producing these recordings on the secretary of state’s website, the public will have a virtual front row seat to the meeting. This is second-best to attending in person.”
There are approximately 39 state agencies and 16 quasi-public agencies that collectively manage billions of taxpayer dollars.
Representative Filippi points out that, “Critical discussions take place during those agency meetings. Our constituents deserve to observe those discussions.”
“The Executive Branch should exercise the same level of transparency as the General Assembly does with its Capitol TV. Rhode Island citizens are able to view committee hearings and floor debates both in real time and on demand. The citizens of our state deserve no less.”
For more information, contact:
Raina C. Smith, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903