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massachusetts public records reform

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The Road To Massachusetts Public Records Reform

In 2015, the Massachusetts legislature seriously took on the issue of reforming its woefully inadequate public records laws for the first time since the early '70s. But change does not come easily to the Commonwealth, and open gov advocates found themselves faced with an up(Beacon)battle over even the mildest of fixes.

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Closed Meeting Crash

This project will evaluate Massachusetts municipalities’ responsiveness to records requests, as well as which have kept up with reviewing and releasing the executive session minutes of their local boards, and which have not.

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Massachusetts committee dissolved after unsuccessful attempts to expand public records law

Massachusetts committee dissolved after unsuccessful attempts to expand public records law

Bay state officials have once again failed at creating recommendations for the state’s restrictive public records law.

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Fee issues continue to block access to public records in Massachusetts

Fee issues continue to block access to public records in Massachusetts

While the 2016 reforms to Massachusetts Public Records Law brought some key changes, such as a cap on copying fees and agency response times, Bay State requesters can still face hefty financial barriers to getting their records.

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Massachusetts Spotlight: Navigating the public records appeal process

Massachusetts Spotlight: Navigating the public records appeal process

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.

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Massachusetts Public Records Law among the country’s most restrictive

Massachusetts Public Records Law among the country’s most restrictive

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.

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Medford Police Department appears to be ignoring public records requests, in some cases for years

Medford Police Department appears to be ignoring public records requests, in some cases for years

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.

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