Home>Governor>Sweeney still opposed to gutting legislative OPRA exemption

Gov. Phil Murphy, left, with Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Sweeney still opposed to gutting legislative OPRA exemption

Other Murphy reforms an easier sell

By Nikita Biryukov, February 21 2020 4:39 pm

Senate President Steve Sweeney said he’s opposed to Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal to eliminate the exemption provided the legislature under the Open Public Records act but said he’s open to the other proposals.

“I’ve answered that five times, but I will look at his bills,” Sweeney said when asked about Murphy’s suite of proposed ethics reforms. “I haven’t seen them yet. They haven’t produced bills in front of us, but I answered the one several times.”

The governor’s office included copies of all five bills in a release sent out Wednesday evening, and Murphy communications director Mahen Gunaratna said the front office sent copies of the bills to Senate Majority Executive Director Kevin Drennan before Murphy’s announcement Wednesday.

Murphy’s other proposals include a ban on shadow lobbying, stricter financial disclosures for legislators and an increased cooling-off period for lawmakers and staffers looking to become lobbyists, among other measures.

Sweeney and the governor are in agreement on some of those measures.

The shadow lobbying ban was originally a Sweeney bill, and the senate president has already indicated he would work to update legislative financial disclosures.

Though, it’s unclear whether Sweeney’s changes will line up with the ones the governor wants.

“Again, I’ve got to look at the bill,” he said There is no bill. There’s highlights, so I’ve got to look at the bill. But we were, on our own, looking to modernize the financial disclosure.”

This story was updated at 6:12 p.m.

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