State Sen. Humason honored


State Sen. Humason honored for promoting public transparency, open government

Conor Berry

Masslive

WESTFIELD — State Sen. Don Humason has been recognized by a national advocacy organization that promotes open government and public transparency for his legislative efforts in Massachusetts.

The Westfield Republican recently received a Massachusetts Public Service Award from Common Cause for his work on updating the state’s outdated public records law.

Humason was one of three senators appointed to a conference committee tasked with crafting final legislation based on differing versions of bills passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. The governor signed the committee’s bill into lawearlier this month, marking the first overhaul of the commonwealth’s public records law in more than four decades.

Massachusetts had repeatedly been cited as one of the worst states in the nation for public transparency. Case in point: Last year, the Massachusetts State Police won the “Golden Padlock” award, a dubious honor presented annually to the most secretive agency in the country.

“We were delighted to honor Senator Humason and the other conferees for their terrific work on the public records bill,” said Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts.

Humason was an advocate for transparency from the start and “a pleasure to work with as part of the conference committee,” Wilmot said. “Kudos to him and to the other conference committee members who made such a great bill possible.”

Humason was among those honored at Common Cause’s Building a More Perfect Democracy event on June 11 in Waltham.

“I appreciate this award from Common Cause in recognition of the hard work that I had the honor of sharing in with my fellow conferees,” Humason said. “At the end of the day, our work resulted in a sensible, balanced update to an outdated law that was over forty years old.”

The annual event recognizing open-government crusaders also honored fellow state lawmakers who served on the conference committee with Humason; Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman; Peter Sturges, a former executive director of the State Ethics Commission; and Janis McQuarrie, a citizen activist and longtime member of Common Cause.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots organization is dedicated to creating “open, honest, and accountable government” for all Americans.

Humason represents the 2nd Hamden and Hampshire District, which includes Agawam, Easthampton, Holyoke, Westfield, Granville, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, Southwick, Tolland and parts of Chicopee.