On January 18, 2007, Governor Deval
Patrickís administration released a statement with the
heading "Governor Patrick, Secretary Kirwan Direct
Departments to Identify Savings."
Thinking that these suggestions might come in handy if there
was an attempt during the budget process to raise taxes,
filed a Freedom of Information request
(a PDF file) on January 30th.
This request was rejected so we filed an appeal on February
13th with Mr. Alan Cote, Supervisor of Public Records in the
Secretary of Stateís office.
Mr. Cote called last week to inform us that the information
was being sent by the Governorís office. On Friday CLT
received 258 pages, with a cover letter from Michael
Pineault, the governorís Deputy Chief Counsel.
We were told the Office of the Governor is not legally
subject to disclosure under the public records law, but that
"it is the practice of the Office voluntarily to consider
and to respond to public records requests on a case-by-case
basis." It was also stated that the governorís office had no
such records, but that we would receive the requested
documents from the Office for Administration and Finance.
While we do not agree that the governor is immune from the
public disclosure law, we are happy to finally receive the
information and thank the governorís office for mailing it
to us. We also want to express our thanks to Alan Cote for
his responsiveness and effort.
Our immediate intent is to get copies of the material to the
State House News Service, which had also requested them. As
long-time subscribers to the SHNS, we were concerned that
the media could be and was being denied information on
budget issues, so we decided to appeal the denial and share
the information if we could get it.
If the issue of new taxes for the state budget arises, we
now have many suggestions for savings that we can share
after comparing the suggestions to the new budget