Transparency essential in government

We elect representatives to conduct our governmental business with a representative democracy. We do so to avoid the problems of a true democracy with the logistics of everyone debating and voting on governmental affairs. For this to work, there needs to be transparency, not only between a representative and their constituents but in the processes […]

We elect representatives to conduct our governmental business with a representative democracy. We do so to avoid the problems of a true democracy with the logistics of everyone debating and voting on governmental affairs.

For this to work, there needs to be transparency, not only between a representative and their constituents but in the processes of government itself.

Currently all bills and legislation have to be read from the floors of the Alabama Senate three times before they are voted on — the last time just before they are voted on.

Alabama Senate Bill 3 sponsored by District 11 Sen. Jim McClendon worries us. The bill would take away the last reading just before a vote but only on bills involving redistricting. Redistricting is already a testy process with many interested parties from voters, representatives and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Many parties are consulted or are seeking input in the process. Some are interested to make sure no voters are disenfranchised while the history of the United States shows evidence some would want to draw lines favorable to a certain group of people.

The Outlook does not think it’s a good thing for the people of the Tallapoosa County or the state. How would you feel if at the last minute the county’s representation was changed?

The bill currently has a favorable report in the governmental affairs committee and is likely headed to the floor of the Senate soon.

Why would anyone want to take away the last reading of a bill after hours of discussions and amendments were made to the legal document before voting on it? Yes, it is time-consuming but shouldn’t it be read one final time so lawmakers are entirely sure what they are voting on to make sure no mistakes were made in altering the bill in the process? Or are lawmakers trying to hide something in the process?