Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: January 18, 2012
Sen. David Holt
Sen. Holt files bills to bring Legislature under Open Meetings and
Open Records Acts
Holt, R-Oklahoma City, has filed legislation to make the Oklahoma
Legislature subject to the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts.
Those two statutes have long provided transparency to all levels
of government, but not the Legislature, which exempted itself.
“I spent five years serving in the Oklahoma City government,
where we were subject to the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts,”
Holt said. “It is almost a universally held opinion that the
City of Oklahoma City has produced some of the most innovative and
effective government in our state the last 20 years, and that was
done while subject to these important taxpayer protections. I believe
it is time the Legislature embraced these acts.”
To achieve greater transparency in state government, Holt has filed
Senate Bill 1243, dealing with open meetings, and Senate Bill 1244,
which deals with the open records law.
“The Senate has led the charge in promoting greater access
to the legislative process and was honored in 2008 by Freedom of
Information Oklahoma, Inc., for promoting openness in government,”
Holt said. “My legislation builds on that tradition.”
Holt’s Open Meetings legislation would make the Legislature
and its committees subject to the provisions of the act during regular
and special sessions. Currently, the Legislature’s only transparency
is provided by its internal rules.
Holt’s Open Records legislation makes records pertaining to
filed legislation subject to the act beginning with the 2013 session.
Names of constituents may be redacted, but not names of public employees
and lobbyists. Currently, only financial records are subject to
public request. “I believe these proposals provide thoughtful
solutions to concerns that have been raised by legislators through
the years,” Holt said. “I am very optimistic that my
colleagues will be receptive to this idea.”
For more information contact:
Sen. Holt: (405) 521-5636