PROVIDENCE, RI – With a new calendar year and legislative session underway, Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea is continuing her commitment to transparency and accountability by providing the following reminders and updates for open government processes in Rhode Island.
OPEN MEETINGS Secretary Gorbea's Public Information office manages the publication of meeting minutes and agendas in accordance with the state's Open Meetings Act. Public bodies are required by law to file meeting agendas, minutes, and annual calendars electronically.
Today, Secretary Gorbea is reminding all public bodies to file their annual calendar on the Department of State's Open Government website. Filers can learn how to file using this simple five-step guide. Any public body who requires assistance filing is encouraged to contact the Public Information office at (401) 222-3983 or email@example.com.
Members of the public can use Secretary Gorbea's Open Meetings page to search for upcoming public meetings, past meetings, minutes, agendas, and contact information for thousands of state and municipal public bodies.
LOBBYING State law requires entities, lobbyists, and lobbying firms to register with the Secretary of State and to report a variety of data regarding their activities. With the start of a new legislative session, lobbyists are reminded that once a lobbying relationship is established, that relationship must be registered in Secretary Gorbea's Lobbying Registration Desk within seven (7) days.
Secretary Gorbea has provided several tutorials on how to register lobbying relationships for entities, lobbying firms, and lobbyists. If you are unsure if you are required to register as a lobbyist, consult Secretary Gorbea's Am I a Lobbyist guide. You may also contact the Secretary's Public Information office at (401) 222-3983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn about lobbying activity in Rhode Island, members of the public are encouraged to use Secretary Gorbea's Lobby Tracker, a searchable database that includes the name of every registered lobbyist in the state, as well as their legislative and executive branch issues, compensation, and clients.
OPEN GOVERNMENT CENTER Secretary Gorbea reminds Rhode Islanders that she recently launched an online suite of tools aimed at improving the transparency and accessibility of public data and government information. The new Open Government Center includes additional resources to help facilitate civic participation and government accountability, such as tips for testifying before the General Assembly, an explanation for how to read proposed legislation, and guidance for filing Access to Public Records requests.