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Imagine a place where the public expresses outrage over closed caucus meetings of its state legislature. 

"The public and the press have a right to know, and there is no reason the Legislature should be held to a lesser standard than every city council and board of supervisors throughout the state. Any notion that a Legislature full of elected officials is not a public body is a strike against public transparency.”…;

Now, imagine a wholly different place where lawmakers unapologetically acknowledge that all decisions about whether a bill will even be considered and whether it will pass (despite the overwhelming weight of public opinion favoring passage) are made in closed legislative caucus meetings.…

Then listen to this interview with Senate President Robert Stivers and ask yourself: Does any vestige of the spirit that informed the Preamble to the open meetings law in 1974 survive today?

"WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Commonwealth that the formation of public policy is public business and may not be conducted in secret; and

"WHEREAS, the legislature finds and declares that public agencies in this Commonwealth exist to aid in the conduct of the public's business; and

"WHEREAS, the people of this Commonwealth do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them; the people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for them to know; the people insist on remaining informed so they may retain control over the instruments that they have created."

Here is Senator Stivers' answer to that question. Even the self-professed conservative hosts of this interview express their outrage.…


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