Government transparency was one of the big topics at the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday.
The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information held a joint press conference with other local groups to raise their concerns over government email deletion and other transparency issues.
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South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley last week announced a list of measures he is asking the Legislature to pass this session. While all are important, there was one that stood out to us: making criminal booking photographs part of the public record.
You know them as “mug shots.”
Whenever anybody is arrested for a crime, law enforcement agencies take a photograph of the accused.
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This has nothing to do with whether Oklahoma Rep. Dan Kirby is innocent of sexual harassment, as he claims. This has nothing to do with whether University of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon deserves a second chance after a video showed him punching a woman who had slapped him.
This has everything to do with our right to know what transpires in a public setting or how our taxpayer dollars are being spent.
Read More… from Oklahoma Joe: Government transparency must improve
The South Portland Police Department has released the document that spells out its officers should use the body cameras that they will begin wearing in a few weeks.
The department posted the policy on its Facebook page following calls from civil liberties advocates for assurance the the cameras will not be used to invade people’s privacy. The policy was not initially released when the department announced that it would begin using the technology. The ACLU of Maine filed a public records request for the document, according Legal Director Zach Heiden.
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Accusing Gov. John Kasich of “engaging in Putin-like rule” to overturn a state law on health-care price transparency, the law’s sponsor wants the attorney general to hire outside counsel to defend the state against an industry lawsuit.
Read More… from ‘Putin-like rule’? Ohio GOP lawmaker, Gov Kasich clash over health-care transparency law
South Carolina legislators this session will again attempt to pass legislation aimed at reforming the state’s Freedom of Information Act, which regulates public meetings and the release of public records. S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, and S.C. Rep. Weston Newton, R-Beaufort, pre-filed a FOIA bill in the House, and Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Charleston, has filed a similar Senate bill.
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The city of San Diego used to have a performance measure for its handling of public records requests.The Human Resources Department, which processes such inquiries, listed “percent of public records act requests completed within mandated timeline” as a key performance indicator in city budgets. In 2013, about 75 percent were completed in the required 10 days. The measure increased to 84 percent in 2014 and 85 percent in 2015.
Read More… from San Diego Pushes for Further Transparency with New Open Records Portal
Frustrated at being stonewalled on getting records on the activities of Troy’s city manager, a city resident has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the city. Ann Erickson Gault wants disclosure of public documents she requested regarding City Manager Brian Kischnick. The lawsuit, which was assigned to Oakland Circuit Judge Nanci Grant, not only seeks the requested documents about his city-owned vehicle and other matters but also the awarding of to-be-determined damages, including attorney fees, for allegedly violating the state’s open records law.
Read More… from Troy (MI) resident seeks records after city manager scrutiny
Dozens of Montana legislators, the governor and several top staff members often use personal email accounts to discuss government business, a practice criticized nationwide for circumventing public disclosure and threatening security. The recent presidential election put unprecedented focus on the use of personal email by government officials. Less attention has been paid to the practice in Montana even though it is widespread.
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Police body cameras would restore public trust, proponents said. They would infuse transparency into the murky, complicated human interactions in which officers daily find themselves, they promised. They would be a hard defense against police abuse, they swore.
Read More… from Public access necessary for police footage