Fw: [FOI-L] Maryland open meetings
- [cross post from the freedom of information list server. allen dyer]
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Keat" <thomkeat@...>
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2004 3:54 PM
Subject: [FOI-L] Maryland open meetings
> Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. has vetoed a bill, passed virtually without opposition,
that would have remedied an overlooked defect in the 30-year-old open meetings statute. He said it
would open government agencies to increased litigation -- the only way the statute can be enforced.
However, lobbyists for local governments, which would be the principal targets of such suits, did
not oppose the bill with one exception, representatives of local school boards. The bill was
designed to remedy a trial court decision last year that dismissed an open meetings enforcement suit
against a local school board on the ground the plaintiff had no standing to sue. If allowed to
stand, this ruling would effectively eviscerate enforcement of the statute by civic groups, the
press and virtually all other persons. The statute permits persons "adversely affected" to sue for
compliance. The judge decided that the plaintiff was not economically injured by the asserted
violations a! nd therefore lacked standing. Because there was no case law on the point, the judge
had to reach into the zoning code for a precedent. That ruling is on appeal. The governor's veto can
be overturned by the legislature at its next session, now scheduled for next January.
> Additional information:
> Editorial in Baltimore Sun:
> Opinion article in Washington Post:
> Briefs and other documents in law suit:
> Jim Keat
> Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association
> --- James Keat
> --- thomkeat@...
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