A legislative “working group” quietly looking at state tax policy away from the public’s prying eyes has pledged to adhere to state Open Meetings Law and conduct proceedings more openly in response to criticism that they were working in secret.
The next meeting of the bipartisan panel of 12 House and Senate lawmakers is Oct. 6 and their agenda is posted on the Legislature’s website.
The panel, described by legislative leaders as an informal ad hoc group that came together this summer, came under fire for meeting Sept. 17 with only rudimentary public notice – a sign on the meeting door. The co-chairs of the Tax Working Group pledged to conduct future business as if the group were a duly constituted interim Legislative Committee.
Lawmakers said the group was created to help the Legislature formulate and act on state tax proposals in a more timely and orderly manner. Tax legislation originates in the House. The 2015 session saw the House pass a slew of late-session tax bills that died in the Senate, often without a hearing.