Spurred by frustration over the way state government operates and by a seeming lack of involvement by the public in policy making, senior community advocates have formed a group called the “Citizens Council.” Former State Legislator David Irvine, who was recently involved in a lawsuit against the state over a controversial omnibus bill, says the group wants to make government more transparent.Irvine says if you study the way many bills are advanced, there’s a tendency to hang back and save the most controversial, often the most important issues for the last few days so they can be rushed through without the benefit of committee hearings, without the benefit of a good deal of public participation and input.Former Governor Olene Walker says ethics reform is one of the first issues the newly formed council will explore. She hopes lawmakers will listen and benefit from the group’s experience on many issues Aileen Clyde, who served 12 years on the State Board of Regents, hopes the group’s efforts will increase voter turnout. Clyde says the group would like to engender much more dialogue, discussion and understanding and then have people engaged enough to make good decisions.
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