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League of Women Voters Question Lack of Public Discussion

November 4, 2013
by Jacque Porte

Greater Hartford’s League of Women Voters met Tuesday, October 22nd to discuss why a more open state legislature in Connecticut appears to have fallen "by the wayside." The group’s website describes the meeting as a "call to action" to “demand transparency in state government." The website also voices concerns that significant laws were passed "without an open process," citing changes in campaign finance law and approval of Keno, two recent legislative items that were passed despite public disapproval.

Ilze Krisst, a past president of the League of Women Voters of Greater Hartford, states that the group "tries to inform voters about issues relating to government and to citizenship. We feel very strongly that being a citizen is not just voting," Krisst said. "In order to participate the citizen has to have access to what is going on in the legislature."

Whether the League’s assertions are founded in fact or based solely on miscommunications from the Connecticut legislature, the discussion strongly suggests that the state would benefit from increased transparency, including open meetings streamed live to their website and a searchable database of past and pending legislation. Transparency is the state’s best means of connecting with the people and encouraging citizen engagement.

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