02/11/11 — Sun shines: New law would guarantee your right to know in North Carolina

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Sun shines: New law would guarantee your right to know in North Carolina

A measure is being proposed in the North Carolina General Assembly that should make every Wayne County citizen pay attention -- and call his or her legislator.

The new proposal, which is being sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen LaRoque from Lenoir County, would make it a right for a North Carolina resident to gain easy access to public records, meetings and any other government dealings.

That means any information you wanted to know about your government -- and who it employs and what it is spending -- would be available at your request.

And this time, it would be part of the state constitution.

Bet you thought you already had that right, didn't you? Well, you do .... but.

The reality is there are lots of loopholes and dodges in the open records law right now, which means that there are ways for government agencies and leaders to make it difficult for the public to get their hands on information about their state's business.

This proposal would make it much easier to get the access that is the public's right -- and to shine sunlight on the shady dealings that seem to be a part of many state governments and federal agencies these days.

Protecting your right to keep close watch on those who represent you is a critical part of preserving the freedom that we cherish.

This is a chance to let North Carolina leaders know, officially, that "out in the open" is exactly how we expect them to do business.

Published in Editorials on February 11, 2011 11:55 AM