Every little bit helps...sometimes. The little bit we're getting on transparency in government is appreciated, but we regret it is not sufficient. Essentially HB1111 would put a constitutional amendment to the people in November. If passed it would make some improvement by making it a constitutional right. It sounds real good, but we've been there and had it done to us too many times for us to be happy about it.
For example, the bill has no enforcement teeth. Anyone who wants to correct a violation of the open meetings law or public records laws must still go hire an attorney and they better have from $50K and up. Then when it's over, if you win you are not guaranteed you'll get reimbursed. The real culprits behind the violation get off laughing.
How do we know? Just look at how Beaufort County operates. The Beaufort Citizens for Better Government had to sue the Board of County Commissioners for meeting in secret. All that happened was that the majority who run things just meet out of sight and decide what's going to happen and they just use the public meeting for show. We think that is a board is found guilty of violating the law the members who voted to do so should have to pay out of their personal bank account, not the taxpayers.'
But as we said, HB1111 is better than what we have now.
Kari Travis with the Carolina Journal has the story on HB1111