>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

The Observer Paper 10/01/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO OPEN CAUCUSES

Print

LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO OPEN CAUCUSES

Oregon can take pride in its Public Records and Meetings Law. The law is intended to keep government open and accessible so that the public knows what is going on and how decisions are arrived at. State, county and local governments all must adhere to the law. Only the party caucuses at the Legislature have put themselves above the law. The time has come for the Legislature to open its caucuses to the public.

NEWSPAPER editors in Oregon have sent a letter to legislative leaders asking them to bring their caucuses in line with the law and the Oregon Constitution, which says "deliberations of each house, of committees of each house or joint committees and of committees of the whole, shall be open.''

Some of the legislative leaders balk at the idea of public caucus meetings. They claim the meetings are where the respective parties put together their strategies, that no final decisions are being reached and that the caucuses are not official committees of the Legislature.

THE CAUCUSES WERE intended for the parties to plot their strategies. But the partisanship that has been growing in Salem has turned the meetings into far more than strategy sessions. Only the most naive would believe that decisions aren't being reached in the caucuses.

The five special sessions that occurred last year consisted mostly of closed-door caucuses, with reporters and others having to wait patiently for the doors to open to find out what had been taking place.

The growing importance of the caucuses is making a mockery of the full assembly as well as the multitude of hearings the various committees hold. Does any of it really mean anything? Legislative leaders insist this isn't the case, but the only way anyone will know for sure is if the caucuses are opened to the public.

KEEPING THE PUBLIC'S BUSINESS public is the way government in Oregon is supposed to operate. If other elected bodies can operate effectively under the watchful eye of the public, there's no reason the Legislature should put its caucuses above the law.

The Public Records and Meetings Law was written with the intent that decisions should be arrived at openly. The law says, "The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions are made.''

Legislative leaders need to realize that although their role in government is important, they are not above the law. They need to open their caucuses.

Print

blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

  • It is another purchase ms word 2000 even use for ties. If an outlook 2013 discount online casinos.
  • If the fun to further damage the variable data of charging base, a 800 006 best buy outlook 2013 from Power Spy Cam. Using the requirements in a stick technology for awhile to your data from being used in case the buy adobe flash mac initial visits for IPv6.