February 8, 2017

Senate adds transparency to agenda in light of shady pot law maneuver

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Wikimedia Commons/Hsin Ju HSU

Massachusetts State House

BOSTON — Pro-marijuana activists who were taken by surprise when the Senate passed a bill delaying implementation of retail pot sales would receive advance warning should the Senate seek a repeat during a future “informal” session.

As part of the Senate rules package (S.8) adopted last week, the Senate required that agendas for informal sessions be made available to the public one day ahead of the start of the session except when informals are held on consecutive days.

Open meeting laws already demand that city councils, boards of selectmen and boards governing state agencies publish their agendas in advance. Lawmakers in the House and Senate face no such requirement. The word agenda does not appear in the prior iteration of Senate rules.


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