TESTIMONY TO THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
HB 157 Open Meetings Act - Advanced Notice of Meetings - Agenda
BY: Susan Cochran, President
DATE: January 29, 2014
The League of Women Voters of Maryland strongly supports HB157 Open Meetings Act - Advanced Notice of Meetings - Agenda.
A mission of the League of Women Voters is to encourage informed participation in government. To this end, we advocate for transparency and openness, and urge governmental entities to facilitate participation by citizens.
This bill is important for facilitating citizen participation. One important activity for engaging citizens is attending meetings of public bodies. It is not asking too much to require a public body to make the agenda of its meetings known ahead of time through appropriate means as outlined in the Open Meetings Act 10-506 of the Maryland code. Citizens need to know what will be discussed at a meeting to determine whether to participate. The agenda should contain sufficient information to inform the public about the matters to be taken up.
Therefore, the League of Women Voters of Maryland urges a favorable vote by the committee on HB157.