NJCA Statement on Governor Murphy Signing Bill Gutting OPRA

TRENTON, NJ — On Governor Murphy signing the bill gutting our Open Public Records Act (OPRA) today, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action, Dena Mottola Jaborska, said: 

Governor Murphy’s signing this bill today is a slap in the face to the public. It delivers a significant blow to transparency and democracy and tarnishes the legacy of an administration that has done so much for New Jersey. By siding with political insiders who serve special interests, Murphy has ignored the will of the people and dismisses the growing movement to restore our democracy and hold government accountable to the people it serves. 

The bill just signed fixes none of the problems with OPRA its backers say it will. Instead, it gives commercial interests the advantage of paying special fees to expedite their requests and shields government agencies, municipalities and public officials from unwanted but necessary public scrutiny. It makes it far more challenging for the public, journalists, nonprofits, and government watchdogs to obtain the information they need to ensure accountability and uncover corruption.  

Signing this bill into law flagrantly disregards what New Jersey voters want. It goes against the growing democracy movement that began mobilizing following the 2016 election and has continued to grow stronger with each year.  

We will not forget lawmakers who backed this attack on democracy, and we will ensure the voting public is made fully aware of their votes. We urge all our elected leaders to join us as we continue to fight for a more democratic New Jersey where transparency is paramount, and everyone has a voice.