Entries in Transparency (121)
All Of This Is Bad"; "What Could She Be Hiding"; "Nixonian"; "Hardly Transparent"; "Actions Fall Far Short Of Her Words"; "Troubling"
Union Leader: Executive secrecy: Hassan's Nixonian move
"Gov. Maggie Hassan will not let the public see public budget documents. The people ought to wonder why."
"If the governor gets away with creating a new legal precedent here, the public's right to know will be permanently damaged. What could she be hiding that would be worth that price?"
Nashua Telegraph: Two sentences in the state Constitution
"If the governor attends a political fundraiser or some other event in another state, the people of New Hampshire should know that. The dissemination of such information is one of the ways people can be sure that the state isn't being run by an absentee governor or one who is being unduly distracted by political considerations...the governor's claim that she isn't bound by the Right-to-Know Law is troubling"
Concord Monitor: Despite claims of transparency, Gov. Hassan refuses to release proposals to make state government more efficient
"Gov. Maggie Hassan says she's all about government efficiency and transparency. But when it comes to efficiency in government spending, she's hardly transparent."
"Ultimately, this fight is about more than the information contained in these government documents, it's about whether Hassan walks the talk and allows New Hampshire's government to be open and responsive to its people."
Union Leader: Hassan's hide & seek: Playing games with public records
"Gov. Maggie Hassan is going to extraordinary legnths to deny the public - and lawmakers - access to public records. Why?"
"All of this is bad, but the governor's next step ices the cake. The Monitor has reported that the governor asked her department heads to forward all requests for the budget documents to her office. She is deliberately trying to shift public documents from the public domain to the corner office, where they will be shielded from the right-to-know law, and thus from public scrutiny."
Nashua Telegraph: A rooster crows at the Statehouse
"Gov. Maggie Hassan has a credibility problem. The governor, who is just starting her second two-year term, likes to talk about "transparency," but a story in the Concord Monitor on Sunday makes it clear that her actions fall far short of her words."
"Then again, given the gap between what the governor says and what she sometimes does, that may also be the reason she wants to keep them secret."
New Hampshire Senate
Senator Prescott wins approval of Ratepayer Rights Bill.
Concord, NH – Senator Russell Prescott (R-Kingston) commends the Senate for passing a bill to establish pricing transparency and stronger protections for residential electric ratepayers who choose to buy electricity from third party suppliers. This bill, SB 170, requires additional, deliberate customer notifications of rate changes, contract terms, and website designs that clearly outline service, terms, and costs.
“I applaud my Senate colleagues for voting for this bill to provide more information about pricing and additional ratepayer protections for those purchasing their electricity from third party power suppliers,” said Senator Russell Prescott (R-Kingston).
“Our state’s energy ratepayers have been forced to deal with high energy prices this winter, and for some, a better option is choosing a low-rate energy supplier. Unfortunately, the terms of such contracts have not been overly clear, which has lead to dramatic and unexpected rate changes for consumers.”
“Knowledge is power and this common sense legislation gives residential consumers just that. Residential ratepayers deserve clear and simple billing notices that better outline electric rate changes and customer contract terms. As other states have done, this bill also requires a website that provides a side-by-side comparison of the state’s electric power supplier rates. This allows ratepayers to have a better understanding of what they are getting from individual suppliers and provides a balance between businesses and consumer protections,” continued Prescott.
Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today asked the New Hampshire Department of Justice to review Governor Maggie Hassan's attempt to pressure state agencies into ignoring the Right to Know Law. The party also submitted its own request with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services for information regarding its government efficiency proposal:
Attorney General Joseph Foster
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301
Attorney General Joseph Foster:
On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing today to respectfully request that you provide a legal opinion on Governor Maggie Hassan's effort to pressure state agencies to ignore New Hampshire's Right to Know Law.
The Concord Monitor and Union Leader report that Governor Hassan has distributed a memo to state agency department heads instructing them to forward all Right to Know requests regarding government efficiency proposals to her office. The New Hampshire Republican State Committee and members of the New Hampshire media have filed several requests for the efficiency proposals. Governor Hassan has already denied similar requests made directly to her office.
The New Hampshire Department of Justice has clearly stated that all state executive branch departments and agencies are subject to the New Hampshire Right to Know Law. Governor Hassan believes she does not need to follow the law, and her attempt to funnel all Right to Know requests through her office is a brazen and blatant attempt to undermine New Hampshire's transparency requirements.
Clearly, state officials should be required to respond to requests made directly to their agencies instead of forwarding them to the governor's office to be quashed. Governor Hassan's memo is obviously an attempt to pressure agencies heads to keep information about their efficiency proposals secret as she quietly gears up to run for United States Senate.
I ask that you please provide an opinion on the legality of Governor Hassan's shameful plan to undermine New Hampshire's transparency laws. I also request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A) that you provide me with any communications between the Department of Justice and Governor Hassan's office regarding the development of her memo to agency heads to determine if she sought an opinion from your office in advance.
New Hampshire Republican State Committee
Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas:
This is a request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A).
I formally request that you provide me with all records regarding government efficiency proposals developed by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. These proposals may have been submitted to Governor Maggie Hassan's office.
As Governor Hassan gears up to abandon her job to run for United States Senate, her Administration has gone to great lengths to undermine New Hampshire's Right to Know Law. The Concord Monitor and the Union Leader have reported that the governor is attempting to pressure and coerce state agencies into ignoring transparency laws by funneling records requests to her office. This strategy is designed to deliberately quash any records request related to agency efficiency proposals because the governor does not believe her office needs to adhere to the Right to Know law.
Additionally, the Concord Monitor and the Union Leader report that the governor's office has distributed a secret memo to agency heads that instructs them to ignore the Right to Know law. As part of my records request, I also ask that you please provide me with a copy of the governor's memo.
Should you decline to provide any requested information, please provide the specific provision under RSA 91-A that exempts such public records from the Right to Know Law. To be clear, I am asking for these records from your agency and expect a response from the Department of Health and Human Services - not the governor's office.
New Hampshire Republican State Committee
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