Snowden Defends His Amendment

A Meridian lawmaker is at the center of a controversy over the recently killed open meetings legislation.

A bill passed the House earlier in the session, tightening those laws, and allowing fines for public officials who violated them.

State Rep. Greg Snowden added an amendment that forced those fines to be paid by the officials themselves, and not the taxpayers.

House Judiciary A Committee chairman, Rep. Ed Blackmon, held up the bill, because he said Snowden should have added the amendment while it was in committee. The bill died for lack of action Thursday.

"Apparently the real reason he let the bill die is because he didn't like someone offering an amendment on the floor," said Snowden. "And, you know, that's my job, to do those things when they are necessary. And I had the majority of the House agree with me. So I feel good about what I did, but I'm sorry the bill died."

Blackmon said asking public officials who are not well-paid in some small towns to pay a fine would put an unfair financial burden on them.


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