To Protect Your Right To Know, Keep Your Eye on Government -
By Gregory Sullivan 3-17-15

This is Sunshine Week. Organizations dedicated to promoting open and transparent government will be sponsoring educational programs and initiatives designed to educate the public regarding the importance of easy public access to the workings of our government.

In a 1913 Harper’s Weekly article titled “What Publicity Can Do,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously stated that “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

He later wrote, “If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects.”

In New Hampshire, legislators are debating and considering many bills designed to amend our rightto- know law, RSA 91-A. The preamble to that law holds “Openness in the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society.

The purpose of this chapter is to ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussions and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people.”

Some of the proposed legislation, including one creating a “Right to Know Grievance Commission,” and one making the governor subject to the right-to-know statute, deserve support from those respecting the mandate of Part I, Article 8 of the New Hampshire Constitution: “All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.”

Read the entire article HERE .

The article above has been reprinted with permission from the Union Leader.






































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