Home>Articles>Kean open to reforms for OPRA’s legislative exemption

New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean, Jr.

Kean open to reforms for OPRA’s legislative exemption

Sweeney a hard no on the issue

By Nikita Biryukov, January 14 2020 6:18 pm

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean said he was willing to consider reforms to the exemptions provided to the legislature by the Open Public Records Act.

“I’m happy to discuss reforms that improve transparency while still protecting our constituents,” Kean said.

The state’s legislators are provided two exemptions under OPRA. The first protects communications between lawmakers and their constituents.

The second shields all documents created in the course of a legislator’s official duties, including emails and texts between lawmakers and lobbyists.

A number of Trenton’s legislative leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, have said they were willing to reexamine the legislative exemption.

Gov. Phil Murphy has expressed support for eliminating the exemption through a spokesperson.

Still, it’s not clear whether there’s any chance of the legislature removing a provision shielding its members from disclosure.

Senate President Steve Sweeney has said multiple times that he wouldn’t support removing the exemption.

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