S1451 / S1452

14 Jun: Weinberg, Sweeney Push For Open Government Bills

TRENTON – At a news conference at the Statehouse today, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate President Steve Sweeney renewed the push for bills sponsored by the Majority Leader to modernize the State’s open government laws and ensure better compliance with good government practices which promote transparency and accountability.

“Since I’ve introduced these bills a few years ago, I’ve received numerous objections from individuals in local and county government who believe that living up to their responsibility for accountable, transparent government represents an unfair burden,” said Majority Leader Weinberg, D-Bergen. “These bills are only intended to modernize and strengthen the existing open government laws on the books, and public officials at all levels should already be doing their best to fulfill their obligations to be accountable to the taxpaying public. We have to recognize that, first and foremost, we serve the public, and the public’s interest is best-served by having access to the product and proceedings of their government.”

“New Jersey residents pay among the highest taxes in the nation, and they deserve to know how their tax money is being spent,” said Senate President Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “By updating the Open Public Meetings Act and the Open Public Records Act to reflect the way we communicate with each other in the modern world, we’re making it easier for taxpayers to access that information. I commend Senator Weinberg for pushing for these bills to ensure that the intent of open government is realized in the 21st Century.”

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, speaks at a news conference at the Statehouse regarding the passage of S-1, legislation that would establish marriage equality in New Jersey. The bill is sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader along with Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union and Senate President Stephen P. Sweeney, D-Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester. The bill passed the full Senate of 24-16. It now heads to the Assembly for further consideration. Also pictured are the Senate President, Senator Lesniak, Senator Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, Morris and Senator Bob Gordon, D-Bergen, Passaic.

13 Jun: MEDIA ADVISORY – Weinberg, Sweeney, Good Government Advocates To Hold News Conference On Open Government Bills

TRENTON – Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senate President Steve Sweeney and good government advocates will hold a news conference TOMORROW at 10:30 AM in support of legislation Senator Weinberg has sponsored to modernize New Jersey’s Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

The news conference will be held in Room 103, across from the Senate Chambers.

“In the years since I’ve introduced measures to bring the Sunshine Law and OPRA into the 21st Century, I’ve received numerous objections to the bills from local officials who are more interested in the status quo than effective government transparency,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “Where their concerns were warranted, we made concessions, and ultimately, I think their input in these instances resulted in better bills. However, there are far too many public officials in the Garden State who seem to believe that they shouldn’t be held accountable by their constituents.”

“At the end of the day, these folks are elected by the public, they spend taxpayer dollars, and ultimately, should be as transparent and accountable as possible,” said Senate President Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “Considering that New Jersey residents pay among the highest taxes in the nation for the various levels of government, they have a fundamental right to know how their tax dollars are being spent.”