Framingham Online News

MA Senate Passes Public Records Reform Bill

Filed under: Uncategorized by News Staff at 3:16 pm on February 4, 2016

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Today the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed legislation reforming how the state handles public records. The legislation, originally sponsored by Senator Jason Lewis, is the first update to the public records law since the early 1970s.

Karen Spilka

Sen. Karen E. Spilka, (D-Ashland)

"An accessible, transparent government is fundamental to the democratic process," said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "This bill strengthens our public records law to improve access and make the process of requesting records simpler, clearer and more fair. Thank you to my colleagues in the Senate and advocates on all sides of this issue for engaging in a collaborative effort to bring our public records law into the 21st century, while providing flexibility for municipalities and agencies."

The legislation will reduce costs for records requestors and ensure timely compliance with public records requests. The bill also brings Massachusetts in line with 47 other states and the federal government in allowing attorney’s fees to be awarded to plaintiffs who are victorious in court when denied records. The bill requires attorney fees to be awarded, except in certain defined situations.

Under the legislation, each state agency and municipality is required to appoint at least one public records access officer to serve as the point of contact for all public records requests and ...[read more]


Senate Passes Bill to Repeal License Suspensions for Non-driving Drug Offenses

Filed under: Politics by News Staff at 5:04 pm on September 24, 2015
Karen Spilka

MA Sen. Karen Spilka, a "Champion for Change"

FRAMINGHAM - The Massachusetts Senate today voted in favor of Senate Bill 2014, An Act relative to motor vehicle license suspension, Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) announced.

This bill repeals the current law that subjects individuals convicted of a non-violent drug offense to an automatic license suspension for up to five years and a license reinstatement fee of $500, even if the offense does not involve motor vehicles in any way. Thirty-four states, including every other New England state, have already taken action to repeal similar laws.

The bill would have no effect on license suspension penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, and only removes the outdated state requirement that penalizes every drug offense with ...[read more]


MetroWest Forum on Economic Reform

Filed under: Business,Politics,Public Meetings by News Staff at 8:41 pm on February 25, 2010

FRAMINGHAM, MA -- You Are Invited to a MetroWest Forum on Economic Reform and Senate Bill 2270.

On February 8, 2010, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and Senate President Therese Murray filed Senate Bill 2270, An Act to Promote Economic Development Throughout the Commonwealth. This bill seeks to ...[read more]


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