Inganamort casts no vote against OPRA reform bill

Inganamort casts no vote against OPRA reform bill

TRENTON, N.J. – While there were reforms he supported in the Open Public Records Act bill passed by both the Senate and General Assembly Monday, Assemblyman Michael Inganamort ultimately cast a no-vote against the legislation.

“I voted no because in my time in the Assembly, I’ve been witness to state agencies that obfuscate, delay, or dodge tough questions,” Inganamort (R-Morris) said. “We need a strong Open Public Records Act that preserves existing incentives to pursue information to hold these State agencies accountable.”

Inganamort raised concerns about current issues where state agencies remain less than forthcoming.

“Why is NJ Transit chronically failing and why are we not conducting a forensic audit? Why does the Cannabis Regulatory Commission not know what revenues are going to municipalities? Why can’t New Jersey residents access, much less have a clear understanding of, our convoluted school funding formula? Why does the State of New Jersey continue to stonewall Sussex County in its pursuit of answers for the tragedy at the Andover Subacute?” he asked.

Inganamort acknowledged that the legislation (S2930/A4045) had elements of which he approved: moving more information online and permitting records custodians to refer requestors to a website for documents. However, his concerns—including not going far enough to protect municipalities from the deluge of commercial requests and failing to cap attorneys’ fees—outweighed the good.

“Until state agencies put as much time and effort into providing requested information as the hardworking clerks in the small towns I represent, I won’t give an inch,” Inganamort said.