By Debi Brazzale, COLORADO NEWS AGENCY
Trust in government is at an historic low, minority Senate Republicans said today, and, they say, they have a plan to restore that trust—through amplifying accountability and transparency in government.
The plan, billed as an “Agenda to Restore Trust in Government,” is the fifth and last in a series of announcements by the Senate GOP touting its agenda for the 2011 legislative session.
Specifics of the agenda include creating better
Web-based spending reports; an interactive citizen-participation website; ending the fast tracking of “controversial” legislation, and a requirement that all bills to be posted for 24 hours prior to a final vote.
In promoting the plan, Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, said it’s about ease of access for the public when it is seeking information about legislative activities.
“As families and businesses are trying to navigate their way through this difficult economy, we cannot expect them to search through mountains of information to find out what we are doing in the General Assembly,” said White. “This new transparency plan will give Colorado taxpayers easy access to our legislative efforts at the Capitol.”
Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R- Berthoud, says the GOP effort would translate into a stronger voice for citizens.
“This plan will create an unprecedented level of accountability for state lawmakers in Denver,” said Lundberg. “Citizens will now be given the tools and resources to make a direct impact on legislative efforts.”
The plan won some plaudits across the aisle from ruling Senate Democrats. Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, says that she is on board with the Republicans when it comes to empowering the public with more information.
“Any public function should be transparent,” said Carroll, pointing out strides that have recently been made in transparency by the online posting of the state budget.
Carroll, echoing Lundberg, also applauds efforts to engage the public in the legislative process at the Capitol.
“Taking advantage of technology to make it easier for more members of the public to give more input is a good thing,” says Carroll.
Earlier this fall, the Senate Republicans released an Agenda for Economic Recovery, an Agenda to Reform & Restrain Government, a Pledge to Colorado Taxpayers, and an Agenda to Support Colorado Families.