Rep. Blake Filippi (R-District 36 Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly and New
Shoreham) has introduced two pieces of legislation, which make state and local
governments more accessible to the people of Rhode Island.
House bill 7286 would require municipal governments to make audio and video
recordings of open meetings of school committees, city or town councils, and zoning
boards. The recordings of these open meetings would be sent to the secretary of
state’s office and posted to its website for public access.
House bill 7287 requires audio and video recording of any open meeting held by state
and quasi-public agencies. These recordings would also be sent to the secretary of
state’s office to be posted on its website and made available for public access.
“The key to good government is transparency,” stated Rep. Filippi. “By requiring
audio and video recordings of open meetings, we will ensure that the citizen’s best
interest is always kept at the forefront of every discussion.”
“There are plenty of Rhode Islanders who would like to attend these meetings but
simply cannot. These recordings would offer the public a clear view of what the
government is doing with their money,” Rep Filippi said.
The State of Rhode Island has 39 state agencies and 16 quasi-public agencies all of
whom manage billions of taxpayer dollars annually.
He added, “We here in the General Assembly have been recorded for years on Capitol
TV. Why should the Executive Branch and municipalities be exempt from the same
public scrutiny? If anything, these public organizations should consider the
recordings to be a symbol of clean and open government.”