The Rhode Island General Assembly's compliance with the Open Meetings Act saw an overall improvement from 93% in 2013 to 94% in 2014. Compliance by the House was 91% in 2014. Compliance by the Senate was 97% in 2014. The overall compliance rate covered a total of 522 legislative meetings.
"It is my belief that government can and must be effective, transparent and accountable to the people it serves in order to succeed," said Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea. "Ensuring full transparency in government for all stakeholders and the general public is one of the Department of State's primary responsibilities."
The state's Open Meetings Act requires governmental bodies to post meeting notices and agendas at least 48 hours in advance. While the General Assembly is exempt from the law, the House and the Senate issue meeting notices in accordance with their own rules. The 31 Open Meetings Act violations that took place in 2014 occurred after the House and Senate suspended their rules on June 17, 2014, near the end of session.
The Department of State monitors the legislature's efforts to keep the general public informed of their activities. Each year, the Department of State has published it's annual "Access Report" measuring the General Assembly's compliance with the state's Open Meetings Act.
"I am firmly committed to empowering a better-informed citizenry through easily accessible and well-organized information," Gorbea added. "Our goal is to make it easy for Rhode Islanders to become more engaged in making the decisions that impact their lives."
Click on the link below to view the 2014 Access Report.