Thursday, January 22, 2009
CONFERENCE COMMITTEES TO REMAIN SECRET?
Several months ago in my Roundhouse Roundup column, I made the bold prediction that with the influx of "reformers" in the Senate, there was a good chance that conference committees -- the last bastion of secrecy in the Legislature-- could finally be opened to the public.
Never trust a reporter when they start predicting.
Check out my story in today's New Mexican. It seems that Attorney General Gary King, who has championed other aspects of open government, isn't quite on board for conference committees.
So between that and taking down the Webcast cameras, it looks as if some people would like to keep the Legislature as open as, say, The Moving America Forward Foundation.
Despite this snag, Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque is sponsoring a bill to shine the light of openness on conference committees. Check out Senate Bill 150 HERE.
Speaking of the Webcasts, Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, R-Albuquerque, is about to start her own Webcasts of her House committee meetings. I haven't checked it out yet, but I'll do that when the House goes into session today.
Maybe we can talk Janice into sneaking her camera into the budget conference committee.
UPDATES: I corrected some bad information about Rep. Arnold-Jones' Webcast. I also corrected the bill number on the conference committee bill.