Monday, March 19, 2012

Cockroft Column: Transparency Bills Fail, Tax Cut Proposals Pass

I was disappointed that House lawmakers failed to pass my legislation that would have made open record requests a more straightforward process. House Bill 2379 would have authorized the state’s chief information officer to create and maintain, where the public could make open records requests. The chief information officer would then make the requested documents available on

Chief Information Officer Alex Pettit has been instrumental in increasing the efficiency of state government and I think he could do wonders for open record requests. My bill would have cut through the bureaucracy that often makes open record requests more difficult than they need to be. I think it is disappointing that more lawmakers did not support this legislation. The bill cannot be reconsidered until 2013.

I was also disappointed by the failure of a second transparency measure that would have made the business of the House subject to open record laws. The legislation would have made all e-mails by lawmakers subject to open record requests, except for e-mails between them and constituents. I think it would have been a great sign of our willingness to show we have nothing to hide up here at the Legislature. Hopefully, lawmakers will be more open to this legislation in future sessions.

On the positive, we passed income tax cut proposals, one of which would eventually phase out the income tax. These bills are not in the final form, but their passage keeps the legislation alive for the remainder of the legislative session while we hammer out the details.

If you have questions or need information, please contact my office at or (405) 557-7349. Rep. Cockroft is on Facebook and on Twitter, votecockroft27.

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