WHY IT MATTERS
Governmental transparency is a critical component of limiting corruption, paybacks and abuses of power.
This transparency includes sunshine laws that make meetings, records, votes, deliberations and other official actions available for public observation, participation and/or inspection. Sunshine laws also require government meetings to be held with sufficient advance notice and at times and places that are convenient and accessible to the public, with exceptions for emergency meetings.
CALLS TO ACTION
#MoscowMitch has been trending for the past week and a half, and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.
Our intelligence agencies, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and even a Senate report have stated that Russia interfered in our elections and will do it again.
Yet, Mitch McConnell continues to block Senate votes on election security measures, saying that Democratic election security legislation is being championed for “political benefit” and is “partisan legislation,” reports the Hill. Convenient that he received donations from voting machine companies, eh?
What you can do:
9/4/19 From Ballotpedia's Daily Brew:
Democratic National Committee rejects virtual caucusing for Iowa in 2020
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has rejected the Iowa Democratic Party's plans to conduct virtual caucuses in the state—which would allow people to participate by phone—from January 29 to February 3, 2020. The DNC recommended on August 30 that its Rules and Bylaws Committee reject Iowa’s virtual caucus plans, as well as similar plans developed in Nevada.
DNC leadership said in a statement, “There is no tele-caucus system available that meets our standard of security and reliability given the scale needed for the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the current cybersecurity climate.” Both states had proposed the virtual caucus option to comply with new DNC rules that required that states holding caucuses institute absentee voting to facilitate participation by those unable to attend in person.
Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price said he will work to find an alternative that addresses the DNC’s concerns. At an Aug. 30 news conference, he said, “We’re going to continue to work with the DNC to make sure that our caucuses are a success in 2020.” The DNC has said that it will give final approval to Iowa’s caucus plans on Sept. 13.
The 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses had 171,517 participants, the second-highest number in the event's history. The 2008 caucuses had 239,872 participants. The 2016 Iowa Republican caucuses had a record
Des Moines Democratic Party chairman John Smith stated, "We might have to drop the caucuses and do a primary in order to meet the DNC's requirements." If Iowa changes its caucus system to a primary, it could disrupt the rest of the Democratic nominating calendar. State law requires New Hampshire to hold the nation's first presidential primary. Iowa's caucuses are currently scheduled for February 3. The New Hampshire primary is set for February 11.
While both of these bills failed to be enacted this past session, we anticipate further efforts in 2020 to undermine and weaken Amendment 1 in as passed by the people of Missouri in 2018.
The legislature has indicated that they will put Amendment 1 up for another public vote.
INFO TO USE WHEN YOU CALL/WRITE/VISIT
MO House Bill 445 and Senate Bill 132
HB 445 if signed into law in its current form "...would be 'the most radical undermining of open records and transparency law in state history." Rep. Jon Carpenter
SB 132 would change MO Sunshine Law by authorizing “closure of certain constituent and legislative records of members of the General Assembly” and also “modifies provisions regarding fees for access to public records”
Both bills ignore the will of the voters who overwhelmingly passed Clean Missouri Amendment 1 for greater government transparency.
Click through to read more about bills, their status, full text, sponsors and how specific elected representatives voted. (Best viewed on a larger screen.)
Colors bars to the left of bills indicate IKC strong support (bright green) to strong oppose (dark red).
We will be ranking more pieces of proposed legislation in the 2020 session. If you'd like to help us sort through the bills introduced enforcing or undermining clean government, go to our volunteer form, here.
**Data supplied by Bill Track 50**