Making a mockery of Sunshine Week
March 13, 2012
The Richmond Times-Dispatch comments on transparency in Virginia, "The news dismayed, but its timing proved pregnant with symbolism. On the eve of Sunshine Week, Virginians learned that a study of uranium mining in Pittsylvania County will not be as transparent as it should be. According to a news story by The Times-Dispatch's Rex Springston, the group of state officials involved 'will hold no public meetings and will keep many of its papers secret.' This is not good."
Progressive Point: Virginia lawmakers are making important decisions that impact localities, businesses, and individuals across the Commonwealth with no opportunity for public input. The lack of transparency concerning studying uranium mining not an isolated incident. From remaking our complicated retirement system to funding repairs to our transportation infrastructure to making decisions about mining and water quality in Southside, decisions are being made behind closed doors with no opportunity for public input or scrutiny.
Lawmakers were elected to represent us, and the thoughts and opinions of their constituents should be the most important factor in decision making. How can they make responsible decisions that reflect all of the available information when the most important part of the process has been shut down? Making decisions in the dark pushes the public out of our democratic process and makes a mockery of Sunshine Week.
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