February 6, 2009
McNally honored for efforts to open government
(NASHVILLE, TN), February 6, 2009 — State Senator Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) has received the Tennessee Press Association’s “Open Government Award” honoring him for his efforts to make governments across the state more transparent and accountable. The award was presented to McNally at a luncheon in Nashville on Thursday.
“In the tall shadow of the Tennessee Waltz scandal, Senator McNally, then the Republican Caucus Chairman, was the first to step up to sponsor the first revisions to the sunshine law proposed since it was passed over 30 years ago,” said Frank Gibson, Tennessee Press Association Governmental Affairs Coordinator. “That legislation led to the
creation of a study committee to look at open meetings and public records.”
McNally was chosen in 2006 to head the Study Committee that pushed forward a package of reform bills that called for the open government changes. The committee included members of the press, state and local government officials, and public activists. The legislation created the Office of Open Records Counsel to deal with open records issues for local government. It also requires open records requests to be available within seven days or a denial must be sent with explanation; clarifies that violations may be
considered in circuit or chancery court; and mandates certain boards and utilities to develop training programs on open meeting laws.
“Chairman McNally stopped changes that would have weakened the open meetings act, and did so with the agreement of the press, public and local government,” Gibson added.
“I am very humbled to receive this award,” said Senator McNally. “I appreciate the work all of those who helped us forge this legislation that will truly make a difference in opening up government for the citizens of this state.”