March 24, 2011
Cullen Signs onto ‘Sunshine on the Caucuses’ Bill
Senator Tim Cullen has signed onto legislation that, if enacted, would require partisan legislative caucuses to comply with the state’s Open Meetings Law.
There are four partisan caucuses in the Legislature: Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans, Assembly Democrats, and Assembly Republicans.
“Right now, when legislators want to meet as a caucus, they can meet behind closed doors because current law exempts these partisan caucuses from the Open Meetings Law,” Cullen said. “The Sunshine on the Caucuses bill says these meetings must comply with the same Open Meetings Law that every other governmental body in Wisconsin must comply with. I believe that when legislators meet to discuss legislation, amendments, and floor strategy, the meetings should be open to the public and the press.”
Under the open meetings law, with certain exceptions, meetings of state and local governmental bodies must be preceded by public notice at least 24 hours before the meeting, must be held in places that are reasonably accessible to the public, and must be open to the public at all times.
The bill was drafted by Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine).