Photo: Longtime advocates for public records reform celebrate after Governor Baker signed the legislation into law. From left to right: Common Cause executive director Pam Wilmot, ACLU of MA legislative counsel Gavi Wolfe, ACLU of MA executive director Carol Rose, Senator Jason Lewis, Senator Joan Lovely, Representative Stephen Kulik, Arline Isaacson, and Massachusetts Newspaper Publisher's Association executive director Bob Ambrogi.

Governor Baker plans at noon on Friday to sign the public records reform bill approved last week by both the state Senate and House of Representatives. The following statement may be attributed to Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which led efforts to pass the reform:

"Today we celebrate a major win for open government in Massachusetts. For the first time in more than four decades, we finally have a real way for the public to enforce our state public records law. As in nearly every other state in the country, courts in Massachusetts will now have the power to make government agencies pay when they illegally deny access to information that rightfully belongs to the public.

"The ACLU thanks Governor Baker for his signature today and for his administration's proactive efforts to improve transparency. We also thank House and Senate leadership, as well as the cosponsors of the bill, for prioritizing these important reforms and working to make them a reality. Without their vision and action, we would not be here today. In this time of fierce partisanship, we have achieved something remarkable: unanimous, bipartisan legislation to make government more open and accountable to the people."

For more information about the legislation, go to:
https://aclum.org/our-work/legislative-priorities/fix-our-broken-public-records-law/

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