Published 5:49 pm Monday, January 14, 2008
Once more let the sun shine in
The issue: Proposed bill has raised some interest of those who believe public officials should be more open with the public that elects them. Our position: The Legislature should look favorably on the proposed bill's intent.
A couple of Republican legislators, Mike Ball of Madison County and Cam Ward, who represents Bibb and Shelby counties, have prefiled a bill that has raised some interest of those who believe public officials should be more open with the public that elects them.
This bill would require public disclosure of the names of public officials or spouses of public officials or candidates who are employed by the state or who have a contract with the state, a county or a municipality.
A draft of the measure defines state as Alabama, its agencies, departments, political subdivisions, counties , colleges and universities and technical schools, the Legislature, appellate courts, district courts, circuit courts and municipal courts, municipal corporations and city and county schools systems.
That's pretty much everyone.
The law also calls on these individuals to reveal the job, job description or description of a contract, the compensation and terms of employment. Even if a contract should change, the change has to be recorded with the ethics commission.
This bill will be watched with interest by those who seek more openness in government on the state and local levels.
Perhaps the voting public won't be disappointed, and the Legislature will look upon this measure favorably.