The Massachusetts Governor’s Office is exempt from state records law, but still accepts requests on a case-by-case basis
Three years ago, Massachusetts legislators revised the state’s public records law with the ostensible goal of increasing access. And yet, the law is still considered one of the most restrictive in the country - in no small part owing to the fact that the Bay State remains the only state in which all three branches of its state government are exempt from disclosure.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued her 11th Executive Directive last Friday, an effort to recommit the state’s government agencies to the values of transparency and accountability.
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.
After a court ruled state legislators and senators were subject to Washington’s Public Records Act, elected officials there quickly moved, with no public hearings, to make sure that emails and many other would continued to be kept from public. After an unprecedented backlash, Gov. Jay Inslee has vetoed the bill and the legislature has agreed to get more public feedback before any changes are made.