Legislators slipped a provision into the state budget that would prohibit conflict of interest statements from more than 2,000 public officials from being released by email or fax by state ethics officials to members of the public. Instead, the public would have to show up in person to receive these statements.
Why make it harder for the public to see these public records?
Robin Vos (R-Rochester), co-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee and owner of a popcorn business, said he suspects he has lost business because his competitors have identified some of his customers through his state financial disclosures. He says the change would make it harder for out-of-state competitors to get information about his business.
With all due respect to Vos and his business, that’s hardly an excuse for making it harder for the public to get this key information.