Maryland’s General Assembly legislative session will be starting up in January, and if you pay attention to anything next year it should be Delegate Saqib Ali’s open government legislation.
The Legislative Voting Sunshine Act, drafted by Del. Saqib Ali (D-Montgomery), would require committee votes to be posted on the General Assembly site, as well as any other recorded votes on amendments and motions related to bills that are taken during committee meetings.
There aren’t many states that put committee votes online and congressional committees aren’t required to put their votes online either. After a quick search, the only state I found that does this is Florida and they put the votes up in PDFs. So Maryland can be a real leader in committee disclosure if this gets passed and they put the votes up in machine readable formats.
This bill would make it easier for citizens to keep delegates accountable because people won’t have to head to Annapolis for it. We at Sunlight will be keeping track of the Legislation Voting Sunshine Act, and hopefully it will become an example for other states and could help enhance our 50 State Project. This legislation is common sense and should hopefully pass with no resistance.
Know about any up and coming transparency legislation happening in your state? Let me know in the comments.