massachusetts public records reform
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.
At least 29 states post Statements of Financial Interest online, making it easy to peruse your local official’s financial ties. But under the Massachusetts Financial Disclosure Law, those wanting to get a closer look at their lawmaker’s finances have to be okay with not only showing some identification, but having their name shared with the official in question.
Bay state officials have once again failed at creating recommendations for the state’s restrictive public records law.
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.
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.