Under Massachusetts law, the state legislature is not considered a “public body” in the traditional sense, and therefore enjoys exemptions from open meeting and public records laws. Pioneer Institute has been advancing this issue, because it believes it is unconstitutional, and now Pioneer Public Interest Law Center (PPILC) will be able to litigate on it. The state constitution says the legislature should be accountable to citizens “at all times.” In a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity, Massachusetts earned an F for public access to information, with one of the reasons cited as the legislature’s and governor’s exemptions from public records laws. The laws that apply to municipalities and the rest of state government should also apply to the legislature. Read our letters to the state legislature and governor on the topic.

Pioneer Institute started this work to promote a healthy democracy. PPILC will have the capacity to advance the issue even further.


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PioneerLegal is a non-partisan, public interest law firm that defends and promotes educational options, accountable government and economic opportunity across the Northeast. PioneerLegal achieves its mission through legal research, amicus briefs, and litigation.