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.
Beacon Hill lawmakers continue to talk transparency and new ways of regulating access to public records. This time around, Representative Antonio Cabral has proposed a new bill, H. 2676, that would take a multifaceted approach at strengthening records law.
A new two-fold bill in Massachusetts hopes to set a new standard for frivolous complaints in the state as well as address records requests intended to harass agencies. However, transparency advocates say the bill raises concerns and they hope to work with sponsors and the committee to “get it right.”
The recently revamped Massachusetts public records law is still hailed as one of the worst in the country. Agencies have ten days to respond to public records request, but some agencies, especially law enforcement agencies, have trouble abiding by the law.