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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 12, 2006

Extend session, but don't curtail access

By Bill Prescott

Regarding The Advertiser's recent articles on openness in government, it appears our lawmakers are treading on dangerous ground by having rules of exception or waivers to the sunshine law.

They appear to be circumventing the state constitution, which states, "Every meeting of a committee in either house or of a committee comprised of a member or members from both houses held for the purpose of making decision on matters referred to the committee shall be open to the public."

But they have made exceptions for themselves. This can be likened to giving certain motorists exceptions from the speed limits on our highways.

If time constraints are the justification for these exceptions, then legislators should ask the governor to approve a session extension or make waivers that will allow for an extension.

It would be safer, don't you think?