House Bill 225: Transparency in Legislative Appointments Act
A great deal of my effort in Annapolis goes towards making government and legislators more transparent and accountable to the public. I have been a leader in making an early theme of the 2010 General Assembly transparency and openness. This has been done largely by introducing a simple, but very innovative bill: The Legislative Voting Sunshine Act.
The Legislative Voting Sunshine act addresses the problem of secrecy in the legislature. But there is another part of the Maryland political scene that is in dire need of some sunshine too: County Central Committees often secretly appoint legislators to fill vacancies caused by death or resignation of incumbents. It sound unbelievable, but it is true.
For a detailed explanation about this issue and how I eliminated the secret ballot in Montgomery County, please read a comprehensive blog post I wrote in 2007 by clicking here.
Even though Montgomery County and Prince George's County Central Committees have dumped the use of the undemocratic secret ballot, most other Central Committees around the state continue to abuse their power by voting secretly. This is something that must change. Now.
That is why I introduced House Bill 225: Transparency in Legislative Appointments Act. This bill would simply prohibit any Central Committee in the state from appointing a legislator via secret ballot. It's 2010. It's time the Central Committees finally let the Sunshine in.
You can read the text of the bill by clicking here and a fiscal/policy summary by clicking here. FYI on 2/16/2010, I had a great public bill hearing. You can watch a video of that hearing by clicking here.