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Maryland senate examines two open government bills

February 25, 2013

Two bills examining transparency and open government compliance were recently examined by a government operations subcommittee in Maryland, HB 331 and HB 139. According to the Maryland Reporter, the bills would give more power to the state's Open Meetings Compliance Board, whose opinions have been ignored in the past, increasing potential regulatory risks.

HB 331 would provide enforcement power to the board, allowing it to review closed meetings and report violations of the Open Meetings Act publicly and increase potential fines. HB 139 would create a clause that would force government employees to receive training in open government classes.

Maryland could greatly enhance both public opinion and engagement with these two bills if they pass. However, open government isn't just about the policies in place, it also requires those efforts to be supported. Investing in transparency solutions like meeting management software will help officials expedite open meeting processes cheaply and effectively, eliminating the risk of breaking compliance with the Open Meetings Act.