MNCOGI presents Finnegan FOI Award to Michele Timmons

Note: Please find the complete press release here (PDF/111KB). Also see another recent post, MNCOGI to host Freedom of Information Event March 14, and a list of former winners of the Finnegan award at

From Minnesota Coalition on Government Information:

(March 7, 2013) — The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information presents this year's John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award to Ms. Michele Timmons at noon next Thursday, March 14. Ms. Timmons is the Minnesota Revisor of Statutes.

A champion for open and easy access to government information, Ms. Timmons' actions enhance public understanding of the complex legislative process. In spite of tight budget times, she helped legislators understand the need to appropriate money for a new, flexible computer platform to replace an antiquated system. Revisor Timmons and her staff not only provide excellent daily service to support the drafting and publishing needs of the Minnesota House and Senate, they also take every opportunity to improve and enhance the records of the Office of Revisor of Statutes to benefit all citizens.

Michele Timmons has been active in promoting access to digital government records at the national level. In her role as a commissioner on the national Uniform Law Commission, she chaired the committee that drafted the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA). UELMA establishes an outcomes-based, technologyneutral framework for providing online legal material with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by publication in a law book. UELMA has been passed in two states and is up for legislative approval in eight states including Minnesota.

Since 1989, MNCOGI has awarded the John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award which is named for the retired senior vice-president and assistant publisher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Finnegan was a life-long stalwart of open meetings, open records and the First Amendment. Each year, the award honors a Minnesotan or Minnesota institution whose work demonstrates leadership and commitment to the power of information to effect change. This year John Finnegan, Jr. will present the award to Revisor Timmons at an award ceremony at the Minneapolis Central Library. The award is named for Mr. Finnegan’s father who passed away in recent months.

The event begins with remarks by Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin on Minnesota’s yearlong cameras in the court pilot project.

When: Thursday March 14, 2013
Time: 12:00 pm-1:00 pm
Where: Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls, MN 55401
Refreshments will be available.

Freedom of Information Day is usually commemorated on March 16th, the birth date of James Madison, a champion of access and transparency in government. This year's celebration will be on March 14th.

The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information is a member of NFOIC. –eds