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PIA reforms needed in Maryland

MDDC is working with a broad coalition of groups to reform the Maryland Public Information Act.  This group, known as Marylanders for Open Government (MDOG) is led by Common Cause. 

We are working with Senator Raskin on SB 695 and Delegate Cullison on HB 755 to reform the PIA.  The bill, if passed, will improve oversight, standardize fees and remove exemptions from the PIA.  The group held a conference call Tuesday, February 10th to outline the bill and share why PIA reform is critical.  Please click here for the media advisory for that call.  Rebecca Snyder also spoke at the event to share why reforms are critical to the press.  Please click here for her comments.

A recent poll by Marylanders for Open Government notes that 87% of Marylanders think the PIA needs reform.  Read the full poll results here.

Problems with the current Public Information Act have been well documented, from The Daily Times’ coverage of inconsistent fees to The Gazette Newspapers’ profiles of requestors to the Baltimore Sun’s editorial highlighting issues across the state. Other media outlets have also taken up this issue,  including WYPR's Environment in Focus, which discussed high fees as a deterrent to requestors on a recent program.

 MDDC’s FOIA/PIA committee also issued a report in December 2014 to highlight the inconsistencies in response and fees throughout the state.

MDDC members have embraced the change PIA reform would bring and have highlighted the issue.  Editorials have appeared across the state, from The Baltimore Sun, The Carroll County Times, The Frederick News-Post and the Cumberland Times.  If you have covered PIA problems and/or reform, please send the story links to Rebecca. 

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