Transparency

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In advance of the June 7 public hearing regarding whether the public will be allowed access to electronic court records, we will look at overall transparency in Maine state government, from access to information through FOIA requests to financial disclosure measures, accountability laws and ethics agencies. A 2015 report by the Center for Public Integrity ranked Maine near the bottom: at 43rd.

A state senator from Cape Neddick is hoping her initiative aimed improving government transparency will be revived next week. Democrat Dawn Hill will have to convince at least one Republican leader to support her efforts to enhance the flow of information between state agencies and the Legislature. The legislative council rejected Hill's bill last month along party lines, but the sponsor says there are new developments that warrant a second look.

The panel split five to five along party lines in Hill's bill, but Hill says recent events underscore the need for more transparency.