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Thursday, January 27, 2011
House GOP Caucus introducing transparency bills
By News Release @ 10:46 PM :: 5558 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

REP. THIELEN DRAFTS LEGISLATION PROMOTING HOUSE TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION  

News Release from Office of Rep. Thielen

Representative Cynthia Thielen (50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) has drafted three resolutions which encourage timely public review of legislation as it is considered in the House of Representatives.  The resolutions will be introduced by the Republican Caucus this session.

"The State House of Representatives needs to address the lack of transparency and public participation in the legislative process by using the technology we have at our disposal today by immediately communicating to the public through video, webcasting and audio transmission," said Representative Thielen.

She noted that, "A more transparent government begins with public engagement which enhances government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions.  It is important that elected officials are able to hear from their constituents in a timely manner before a piece of legislation comes up for a vote."

There are three resolutions which will be considered, including one which requests that the House of Representatives broadcast more legislative proceedings, such as committee hearings, and post them on the Capitol website.

The second resolution proposes an extension of the time for public notice of committee hearings from 48 to 72 hours.  Weekend hours will be excluded and a waiver in the hearing notice requirement would require a vote by the full House of Representatives.

The third resolution urges the Legislature to post all amendments to bills and resolutions online immediately in instances when hard copies of the amendments or amended legislation are distributed at committee hearings. This allows the public an opportunity to make comments on the proposed amended bill at the hearing.

"Our hope is that legislation such as this will encourage better communication between the public and their elected officials in regards to individual pieces of legislation.   Giving people adequate time to review and comment on proposed bills and legislation will improve the quality of legislation and enhance trust in government," said Thielen, noting that legislation is often amended without citizen input and comment.

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