Shhh! TN Senate Bills are Scheduled

Two bills scheduled for state Senate votes this week would give elected officials more confidentiality protections.

Legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro would grant lawmakers and local officials anonymity when filing complaints against businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants.

The intent, according to Ketron, is to prevent retaliation.

The other bill, sponsored by Sen. Raymond Finney, would close public access to the personal contact information of elected officials.

Several Democratic Senators have objected to the measures, saying they would create more secrecy in government.

(Allowing contact info of all elected officials to remain confidential would also eliminate citizens’ ability to contact county commissioners, city alderman and other “officeholders” who don’t technically have an office.)

More here.

What if the bill were amended to include only elected state officials? Should their personal contact information be off-limits? I can understand why creating stronger boundaries between public service and private life might be appealing for many lawmakers: but would this be inviting abuse and corruption? If you give them an inch – would they take a mile? What say you?

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