CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in Tapinto.net article, “Open Gov’t Advocates Balk as Westfield Joins in Call for OPRA ‘Study Commission’.” The article explains the town of Westfield joins in for OPRA 'Study Commission' to review the state’s public records laws.
CJ Griffin, a public records attorney with the firm Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, noted legislative efforts already underway to modernize OPRA with Senator Loretta Weinberg's bill, S-380, which would require inclusion of certain state financial information on an open data website and create a program for the development of local websites.
“If towns have these concerns about OPRA, then they should rush to support Senator Weinberg’s OPRA reform bill,” Griffin said. “It clarifies many of OPRA’s provisions and also provides agencies tools to deal with some of the issues they complain about the most, such as permitting them to charge fees for high volume commercial requestors.”
Given the League’s past action on OPRA reform, Griffin is not confident in its ability to represent the public interest in public records law.
“All we have seen from the League of Municipalities for years is resistance to the reform bill,” she said. “Public records belong to the public and these resolutions just feel like agencies complaining about doing one of their primary functions as custodians of our records.”
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