SPJ says Murphy signed a death warrant for New Jersey’s OPRA law

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Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists (NJ-SPJ) expressed disappointment over Governor Phil Murphy’s signing of bill S2930, which significantly changes the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). NJ-SPJ President P. Kenneth Burns issued a statement condemning the bill and its implications.

“We are disappointed that Governor Phil Murphy signed Bill S2930, which dramatically changes the Open Public Records Act. We refuse to call this the reform that Senator Paul Sarlo wants to sell,” Burns said. “While we agree with the governor that laws should move with the times, this bill does the opposite. It will make it much more difficult to obtain public records. There will be no incentive for any agency or government to follow the law. Anyone who wants to betray the public trust will now be able to do so more easily.”

Burns emphasized that despite passing with bipartisan support, the bill has drawn broader bipartisan criticism. “Sen. Anthony Bucco may have been the bill’s primary sponsor, but he did not vote for it. We would like to know why he has not taken a position, but OPRA is already preventing us from finding out.”

He emphasized that time will reveal the bill’s negative impact on New Jersey. “Unfortunately, if this happens, the Legislature will not make the necessary changes as quickly,” Burns warned.

NJ-SPJ board member Isaac Avilucea added: “Gov. Murphy’s reasons for signing this bill resembled a boring monologue full of caveats and self-congratulation. Congratulations, Governor. History will remember this as the day you signed OPRA’s death warrant.”

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  • SPJ says Murphy signed a death warrant for New Jersey’s OPRA law

    Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists (NJ-SPJ) expressed disappointment over Governor Phil Murphy’s signing of Bill S2930, which significantly changes the Open Public Records Act (OPRA).…

    Read more…