But that's exactly what's been happening in the case of confidential settlements involving public agencies. The Press twice has gone to court - and won - to overturn the confidentiality provisions of settlements involving public agencies. Courts ruled in such cases that the public has a right to know what it's paying in settlements. But without a law, taxpayers were forced to hire a lawyer to pry these settlements open.
That unfairness would end, if a bill sponsored by state Sen. Nia H. Gill, D-Essex, Bergen, becomes law. Gill's bill, which cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, would ban confidential settlements when a public agency is involved.