Rooney’s local government transparency bill advances

TRENTON, N.J. – A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney requiring municipalities to provide residents with important township information via email, text messages and other social media outlets was advanced today by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee by a 5 to 1 vote.

“This is about giving residents a voice and providing transparency,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “With today’s technology there’s no reason for people to be left in the dark especially about issues that directly affect them whether it’s a public emergency or traffic problem. They should also be able to let their local officials know of any concerns they may have.”

The legislation (A3682) would make information about road closures and traffic changes, declared emergencies and public health and safety issues more accessible, but also would require towns to accept resident’s feedback online.

Rooney noted that many municipalities already have such systems in place. His bill makes it mandatory for all towns provided funds are available through state appropriations or grants.