The League of Women Voters strongly supports HB 1392.
This bill would give the Office of Information Practices the enforcement powers it needs to force compliance on the part of boards with the provisions of Chapter 92. The OIP would have the power to review or investigate any complaints filed about alleged violations and determine the veracity of those complaints.
This bill gives the OIP the right to apply to the circuit court for an order to enforce its decisions. This is a necessary power to demand respect for its decisions. Yet Citizens may challenge any of OIP’s decisions in court, since going through the OIP appeal process does not preclude the right to seek redress in court.
Very few individuals or non-profit organizations can afford the cost of litigation to seek redress for what they see as a violation of law. Having an OIP with the ability to to enforce its decisions relieves individuals and organizations of the frustrations of seeing laws flouted Without compliance, a law becomes meaningless. When government officials do not actively encourage compliance with any law, we might as well strike the law off the books because disregard for any law with impunity can lead to a pattern of behavior of disregard for more and more laws not to our liking.
We urge you to support HB 1392.
Thank you for this opportunity to support this measure.