A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week.
And be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.
Oklahoma Open Records workshop for public is well-attended by public officials, too
(Dec 7, 2012) – Most of the questions posed during Thursday's public workshop on the state's Open Meeting and Open Records acts could have had one simple answer, Oklahoma First Assistant Attorney General Tom Bates said. "I think people overthink it too much," he said. "As I say in the presentation, the spirit of the laws is openness, and if you follow that, you are doing the right thing." The workshop was part of a statewide tour organized by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation and the state Attorney General's Office.
Visit Tulsa World for the rest.
Ark. Supreme Court reverses ruling on FOI law
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out a portion of a lower court ruling that declared the state's Freedom of Information Act unconstitutional but let stand a part of the opinion that lets administrations meet in private with city council members individually. Sebastian County Circuit Judge James Cox, who ruled last year that the law was too vague for the criminal penalties to be fair after a Fort Smith attorney alleged in a lawsuit that a city administrator was illegally having meetings with individual members of the city council.
Visit TimesUnion.com for the rest.
New Hampshire state government should make public records more accessible
During budget talks last week with Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan and members of the Legislature, Attorney General Michael Delaney bemoaned the cost borne by his office for fulfilling requests under the state’s Right-to-Know law. … “We need to make this information available to the public, but the cost to produce government records about actions taken in the past is materially undermining our ability to perform current functions,” Delaney later said, according to the Nashua Telegraph.
Visit Concord Monitor for the rest.
RI AG to hold open government summit
LINCOLN, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's attorney general will hold an open government summit to help newly elected public officials understand the requirements of the state's public records and open meetings laws. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin's "Open Government 101" summit next month will include an overview of the state's newly revised Access to Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act. Officials will also learn how to respond to public records requests.
Visit NECN.com for the rest.
Citrus College board re-approves president's contract; open-government advocate to continue litigation
GLENDORA, California (Dec 5, 2012) – In hopes of addressing allegations of Brown Act violations, the Citrus College Board of Trustees on Tuesday rescinded a contract and controversial pay package for the college's president while simultaneously re-approving it. The board reconsidered the contract it approved in July for Citrus College President/Superintendent Geraldine Perri, which calls for automatic raises for the next four years, bringing her total salary to $251,000 by 2016. The move was in response to criticism and a lawsuit from open-government advocate Gil Aguirre, who claims that the board approved an agreement and compensation during a closed session meeting, violating state open meeting laws.
Visit sgvtribune.com for the rest.