Stop us if you’ve heard this before: A liberal, a conservative, a lawyer and a legislator walk into a bar, well … into a legislative hearing. Oh never mind, we’re going to cut right to the punchline: They agreed on something.
The occasion was last week’s meeting of the Arkansas House and Senate’s committees on state agencies and governmental affairs. The subject on which they agreed was expanding the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. To be sure, they didn’t necessarily agree on the details, just on the continuing need to conduct the public’s business in the sunlight.
The meeting grew out of a request by Rep. Jim Nickles, D-Sherwood, for an interim study on the possibility of expanding the state’s FOI law, which requires most governmental meetings to be open and the papers of most state agencies to be available to the public. Continue>>>