As lawmakers adjourned the 2008 session, bills that would have made the legislature subject to the state's Freedom of Information Act and made it easier for citizens to challenge the withholding of records or holding of closed-door meetings died of inaction."We didn't get open government bills passed, so we didn't do right by the public," said Sen. Charles Copeland, R-Greenville.
Copeland and other Senate Republicans had pledged before the session began that they would work to make government more transparent. He noted that many open government bills languished and died in the Senate executive committee, chaired by president pro tem Thurman Adams, D-Bridgeville.
"There are powerful members of the committee on his side of the aisle," Copeland said.
But Democrat Karen Peterson of Stanton blamed Republicans for holding up efforts to make the legislature transparent.
With her bill to make the legislature subject to the Freedom of Information Act bottled up in Adams' committee, Peterson launched a petition effort to have it released from committee. Her effort to get the required 11 signatures failed.
"Every year I hope we get 11 people who have backbones, but it doesn't happen," she said.