Sunday, March 1, 2009

Support the Transparency Bill NOW

Citizens of Montgomery County have an immediate opportunity to support Transparency in our county government. We are lagging far behind the federal government. Remember that on his first day President Obama signed a memo directing transparency in our federal government (Subject: Transparency and Open Government). The new Recovery Act also requires a high degree of transparency, as directed by the head of OMB in his memo of February 18, 2009.

Contact your delegates now to make sure Montgomery County does not continue to lag behind the federal government.

The Montgomery County Delegation is sponsoring House Bill 841, Montgomery County Public Schools – Funding Accountability and Transparency Act
Speak up and contact your delegates – Tell them to support your right to an open and transparent government.

Contact information is at http://parentscoalitionmc.com/ContactYourReps.html

Here is the bill in its entirety:

HOUSE BILL 841
F3, F1 9lr0993

By: Montgomery County Delegation
Introduced and read first time: February 11, 2009
Assigned to: Ways and Means

A BILL ENTITLED

AN ACT concerning

Montgomery County Public Schools – Funding Accountability and
Transparency Act

MC 930–09

FOR the purpose of requiring the Montgomery County Board of Education to develop
and operate a certain website that includes certain information about certain
payments; specifying certain parameters of the website; defining certain terms;
and generally relating to the development and operation of a searchable website
by the Montgomery County Board of Education.

BY adding to
Article – Education
Section 5–115
Annotated Code of Maryland
(2008 Replacement Volume)

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:

Article – Education

5–115.

(A) (1) IN THIS SECTION THE FOLLOWING WORDS HAVE THE
MEANINGS INDICATED.

(2) (I) “PAYEE” MEANS ANY PARTY WHO RECEIVES FROM THE
MONTGOMERY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION AN AGGREGATE PAYMENT OF
$10,000 IN A FISCAL YEAR.

(II) “PAYEE” DOES NOT INCLUDE:

1. A MONTGOMERY COUNTY EMPLOYEE WITH
RESPECT TO THE EMPLOYEE’S COMPENSATION; OR

2. A MONTGOMERY COUNTY RETIREE WITH
RESPECT TO THE RETIREE’S RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE.

(3) “SEARCHABLE WEBSITE” MEANS A WEBSITE CREATED IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION THAT DISPLAYS AND SEARCHES PAYMENT
DATA OF THEMONTGOMERY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.

(B) ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2010, THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY
BOARD OF EDUCATION SHALL DEVELOP AND OPERATE A SINGLE SEARCHABLE
WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC AT NO COST THROUGH THE INTERNET.

(C) THE SEARCHABLE WEBSITE SHALL CONTAIN MONTGOMERY
COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION PAYMENT DATA INCLUDING:

(1) THE NAME OF A PAYEE RECEIVING A PAYMENT;

(2) THE LOCATION OF A PAYEE BY POSTAL ZIP CODE; AND

(3) THE AMOUNT OF A PAYMENT.

(D) THE SEARCHABLE WEBSITE SHALL ALLOW THE USER TO:

(1) SEARCH DATA FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009 AND EACH YEAR
THEREAFTER; AND

(2) SEARCH BY THE FOLLOWING DATA FIELDS:

(I) A PAYEE RECEIVING A PAYMENT; AND

(II) THE ZIP CODE OF A PAYEE RECEIVING A PAYMENT.

(E) THIS SECTION MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE THE
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION THAT IS CONFIDENTIAL UNDER FEDERAL,
STATE, OR LOCAL LAW.

(F) THIS SECTION SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE
“MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS FUNDING ACCOUNTABILITY AND
TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2009”.

SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect
October 1, 2009.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is exceptional, and exceptionally important.

    For what it's worth, I am running for County Council in the District 4 Special Elections. I was wondering how exactly I could add a campaign platform plank demanding transparency in County government in general, and in the Schools in particular, and here the State Delegates have offered a pretty good bill to impose this on the County from the top down.

    Thank you, Montgomery Delegation!

    ReplyDelete

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