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Petitioning Your Governor

Tell Governors: Stop Shutting the Door On Government Transparency

8,124
Supporters

There’s a disturbing trend away from government transparency gaining momentum in several states across the country. Right now, public officials are rolling back laws that protect our right to an open government, laws that are clouding the ability of the public to see what their government and its officials are doing.

In Utah, Governor Gary Herbert just signed a law rolling back the Senate disclosure bill, GRAMA, and severely limiting the ability of the public to access government records.

In Maine, Governor Paul LePage decided that his business advisory committee would work better if open government laws didn't apply to it.

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam has exempted himself from financial disclosure laws so he doesn’t have to publicly disclose his finances.

In Florida, Governor Rick Scott has implemented a policy that requires the public to pay for access to public documents.

And in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker is taking his time backing up his public statements with public documents, and forced through a controversial piece of legislation in violation of Wisconsin's open meetings laws.

We need many voices raised to call out leaders who try to roll back our country's transparency laws. Raise your voice today and stand with the activists across the country in their state-based fight for open government.

Sign on to this open letter to state governors now, and the Sunlight Foundation will deliver these letters to the National Governors Association to show that Americans demand a transparent, open and accountable government.

Letter to
Your Governor
Across the country, we're seeing a disturbing trend of states rolling back transparency legislation and clouding the ability of the public to see what their elected officials are up to. Some examples:

In Utah, Governor Gary Herbert just signed HB477, a law rolling back the Senate disclosure bill, GRAMA, and severely limiting the ability of the public to access government records.

In Maine, Governor Paul LePage has decided that his business advisory committee would work better if open government laws didn't apply to it.

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam thinks that it will be more comfortable to exempt himself from financial disclosure laws than it would be to publicly disclose his finances.

In Florida, Governor Rick Scott has implemented a policy that requires the public to pay for access to public documents.

And in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker is taking his time backing up his public statements with public documents, and forced through a controversial piece of legislation in violation of Wisconsin's open meetings laws.

Transparency is not just a campaign promise. It’s fundamental to a healthy democracy. By getting rid of transparency laws when they’re inconvenient, governors show disregard and disrespect for an open, accessible and accountable government.

We laud those of you that are working to open your administrations. To the rest, we say, what do you have to hide?

Stop the rollback of transparency laws. Your citizens are watching, and trying to drive out the sunshine won’t stop that.