Sunshine Spotlight: Massachusetts
While the 2016 Massachusetts public records overhaul did successfully reform several aspects of the state’s records law, it didn’t address some of the biggest hurdles facing requesters — most importantly, a lack of enforcement.
Most requesters that file in Massachusetts have noted difficulty in obtaining records from the state. The Bay State has often been ranked as one of the worst in terms public access to information, and that’s in no small part owing to the fact that three branches of government - the judiciary, the legislature, and the office of the governor - are exempt from the public records law.
An improved public records law was passed on Beacon Hill two years ago, but just five miles away, the Medford Police Department continues to neglect its legal obligations to records requesters and the public.