Virginian-Pilot editorial: Be a force for openness in government

It’s optimistic to believe that this (or really any) legislative session in Virginia will make a turn toward openness and away from punching holes in the law that ensures public access to documents and meetings.

But maybe, just maybe, this could be a session where lawmakers choose to hold the line on those principles and act with deference toward the people’s right to know.

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Puerto Rico governor pursues freedom of information law

Puerto Rico’s new governor has signed an executive order creating a new public affairs and public policy secretary position that will be responsible for drawing up proposed legislation similar to the Freedom of Information Act that has long been enforced in the U.S. mainland.

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Ratings agency warns in brief against ‘dramatic expansion’ of Florida’s Sunshine Law

State regulators and an organization that proposes workers’ compensation coverage rates in Florida defended themselves in pleadings to a state appeals court this week, seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that they had violated open-government laws.

Attorneys for the National Council on Compensation Insurance, or NCCI, submitted their arguments in a brief filed Wednesday with the 1st District Court of Appeal. The state office of Insurance Regulation is also a party to the suit, filed by Miami workers’ compensation attorney James Fee.

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Transparency committee: N.Y. Senate cellphone ban violates Open Meetings Law

The executive director of the state Committee on Open Government really took to heart Sen. Brad Hoylman’s Friday request for an “expedited” advisory opinion on the question of whether or not the state Senate’s new rule barring the use of cellphones as audio, video or photographic recording devices within the chamber and its public galleries without the permission of the Senate secretary violates the state’s Open Meeting Law.

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Oregon Gov. Brown owes public more transparency in ethics issues

Two of Gov. Kate Brown’s top staffers stepped down last week following news reports that employment they held outside of her office could compromise their work for the government.

The governor’s spokespeople argued the assertions were baseless as the story played out. And since the resignations were confirmed, they haven’t acknowledged what might have been learned. What’s so dismaying is how familiar it feels.

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