The League of Women Voters is in strong support of the intent of SB 1311.
In this day, nationally and in our states, we hear of corruption and withholding of important information in governments at all levels. It is important that we have laws in place which punish those who would suppress information that could influence the policies pursued or dissuade those who would expose corruption or violations of safety and other laws through intimidation of those working below them or their co-workers.
Yes, we have heard of veiled threats to toe the line with the “or else” withheld, in cases where corruption was not involved but certainly public policies were affected, and in some of these cases, that in itself effectively intimidated the principles into submission until later when the incidents were exposed.
The Legislature is entitled to all the information it needs in order to adopt suitable and effective policies and to enact laws in the interest of the state and its people. The citizens of the state are entitled to such information also so it can hold our elected officials accountable. Those who would enforce silence through intimidation deserve to be punished, and this bill would certainly discourage such behavior.
We trust that the proper safeguards remain to protect the rights of the accused should the accusation itself be a malicious attempt to discredit him or her. Thank you.