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Sunshine Week highlights open government efforts

March 18, 2013

March 10-16 is Sunshine Week for local governments, a nationwide event focused on transparency and open government initiatives. According to the Port City Daily, North Carolina is hoping to figuratively take the title of "Sunshine State" from Florida by implementing new legislation that would enhance its open government efforts greatly. Comprised of three separate bills, the legislation seeks to strengthen the availability of public records by making violations of records law a Class 3 misdemeanor and other efforts that address access to public records, meeting minutes and more.

The Sunshine moniker comes from the federal, nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which ranks states based on government openness. According to the news source, North Carolina was one of nine states given the rank of A. Senator Thom Goolsby, author of the new legislation, told the source that he is proud of North Carolina's efforts and position in the ranking.

Tools like meeting management software and agenda management can help state, county and city government increase their transparency and improve the public's access to records and other relevant data. Investing in these solutions will also show the public that its representatives care about their needs and are dedicated to expending tax dollars in more mindful, economic ways.