Government of the people, by the people, and for the people should also be available to the people. That’s the point of “sunshine laws”–those laws that prohibit deal-making in secret, smoke-filled rooms.
Tennessee has sunshine laws not just for state government, but also for local governments. However, those laws have no punishments associated with them. As a parent, I know better than to make rules without consequences.
Senator Randy McNally and Representative Joe Fowlkes have sponsored a bill that toughens Tennessee’s sunshine laws. The bill is not embraced by all. “Opponents say the proposed legislation goes too far, since the number of violations claimed is actually small, and it could burden local governing bodies and discourage qualified people from serving in public office.”
Well, take it from someone who wishes to serve in public office, that I am not the least bit discouraged from doing so because of this proposed legislation.
UPDATE: Sunday’s Tennessean advocates passage of the sunshine bill.