Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Assembly Names Names on Pet Projects

Late yesterday afternoon, the Assembly came through with its promise to provide detailed information about member earmarks. The Legislative Initiatives documents, available for fiscal years 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2006-07 include the recipient’s contact information, a short description of the purpose of the grant, the funded amount, the agency overseeing the project, and in a departure from previous disclosures, the member or members requesting the funding.

According to the Times, though, the Hearst Corporation is not satisfied. Eve Burton, a lawyer for the company, said, “It’s not usable, readable information.”
It’s not data the way the court ordered it, so that consumers can use it. If they do not comply immediately with usable data, we’re going back to the judge to seek relief.
She even went so far as to say that “there is a deliberate attempt not to provide the public with the information.”

We won't comment on Ms. Burton's allegations, but we will say that we hope that both legislative chambers expand upon these initial steps toward full disclosure. At the very least, they should create a system for retrieving information about member items that is closer to both chambers' legislative bill search function.

Categories: General

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