State Sen. Diana DiZoglio says the public is being deprived of open government with the Massachusetts State House still closed to the public more than a year and a half after being shuttered in the wake of COVID-19.
At the start of the Senate’s debate over a $3.6 billion American Rescue Plan Act spending bill, DiZoglio called on lawmakers to get a plan in place to reopen the building to the public.
“We cannot call ourselves inclusive, open, transparent and accessible to the residents who sent us here while the State House doors continue to be closed to our communities,” said DiZoglio. “The doors may be open to legislators and staff, but what about for our residents who don’t have access to technology to watch a virtual session? Our residents and advocates deserve full access to what we are taking up.”
DiZoglio also questioned the rationale behind keeping the State House closed to the public.
“Our small businesses, schools and countless other settings are fully open across the state,” she said. “We all support the public safety as the most paramount of matters, but the truth is, we are not closed to the public anymore on the basis of following the science. We are closed because the powers that be have decided to keep these doors closed at a time when nearly every other facility has found a way to open safely.”
DiZoglio, in her second term as a state senator who previously served three terms in the House, said last June she will seek the office of state auditor being vacated next year by Suzanne M. Bump.