Connecticut: Bill Would Impose Fee On Excessive FOIA Requests

In Connecticut a bill before the legislature seeks to limit frivolous complaints to the state’s Freedom of Information Commission.

Republican State Representative Adam Dunsby of Easton proposed the bill. It would impose a $125 fee for two or more complaints submitted to the commission within a calendar year.

During a public hearing this week, Dunsby said these numerous complaints are not about transparency.

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From Connecticut Council for Freedom of Information: Facing Hearing, Ethics Board Chair Admits FOI Violations

After a protracted mediation process and with the clock winding down to a Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission hearing, Newtown Board of Ethics Chair Jacqueline Villa admitted to violating the state FOI Act on two separate occasions, both involving illegal executive sessions — meetings with members of her board closed to press and citizens that should have been conducted in public.

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Connecticut: Fear of retribution cited for withholding officials’ identities from public

Protecting the identity of current and past New Canaan officials who fear retribution or embarrassment in the community if their true opinions became known is a weightier public interest than letting the identities and opinions be known to the electorate. New Canaan Charter Revision Commission Chairman David Hunt and member Penny Young told a Connecticut Freedom of Information hearing officer on Tuesday that this was a primary reason for the Charter Revision Commission (CRC) withholding such information from the public.

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FOI hearing to decide whether teacher evaluation data should be public

The Freedom of Information Commission will weigh in later in the month on whether or not raw collective teacher evaluation data in Connecticut should be public information.

As more and more states make changes to teacher evaluation systems to increase effectiveness in providing meaningful feedback, more and more controversy has arisen on what the best way to do so is. Continue…
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Gene Policinski: ‘When’ and ‘why’ we need to hear 911 calls

Opinion from The Californian: The word “restraint” and the First Amendment usually exist in uneasy tension.

The 45 words of the First Amendment don’t include it. The Pentagon Papers case in 1971 settled the issue of “prior restraint” by the government on what the press may publish: Nothing doing.

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Connecticut panel orders release of Newtown 911 tapes

From Pocono Record:  The state's Freedom of Information Commission on Wednesday ordered the release of the 911 tapes from last year's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, ruling in favor of an appeal by The Associated Press for access to records withheld by investigators.

The recordings could shed light on the law enforcement response to one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

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Conn. FOI commission to consider recommendation to release 911 tapes from Sandy Hook shooting

From The Republic: HARTFORD, Connecticut — Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission is meeting this week to consider whether recordings of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting should be made public.

An attorney for the commission who heard a challenge from The Associated Press recommended earlier this month that the recordings be released.

Visit The Republic for more.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for September 13, 2013

From NFOIC:  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. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

Baltimore city open data

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