Connecticut Lawyers and Legislators Debate Costs and Benefits as Policing Bill is Signed into Law

On Thursday Governor Ned Lamont signed into law “An Act Concerning Police Accountability,” after two late nights of debate in the House and the Senate. The legislation includes more than 40 substantive changes to policing in Connecticut, from new requirements regarding the use of lethal force to provisions for allowing civilian review boards on the…

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Connecticut FOI Commission admonishes municipalities for illegal meetings, illegal fees

hortly after the Bridgeport City Council’s budget committee opened its meeting last May, Councilwoman Jeannette Herron took up the first order of business with a directive to members of the public. “Okay, everybody out,” she declared. “Make a motion,” Council President Aidee Nieves said, followed by a city attorney saying something — it was partly…

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Good Government Group Grades The Fiscal Transparency of Special Districts in Connecticut

They’re outside the traditional forms of local or state government, but so-called special districts spend more than $200 billion annually.

Nationwide, there are 38,000 of these government entities that provide a specific service for a designated area that would otherwise typically be provided by a local or state government.

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FOI Advocates Blast Connecticut Legislature’s Effort To ‘Pre-Approve’ Government TV Coverage

The Connecticut General Assembly is trying to exert more control over CT-N TV coverage of state government proceedings under a new request for proposals for a new five-year contract, raising protests freedom-of-information advocates.

The issue was Topic A at a midday meeting Wednesday of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information—a group that has been "working for open, accountable government and a free press since 1955," according to its website.

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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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CT: Public Utility Uses Federal Anti-Terrorism Measure To Block Release Of Document To Critic

The Hartford region's water-and-sewer agency has invoked a little-used federal Department of Homeland Security anti-terrorism restriction to block citizens' access to what once was public information about its water-supply system.

Critics are blasting the legal maneuver by the Metropolitan District, known as the MDC, to have its water supply plan designated as "protected critical infrastructure information" by the homeland security department — under a post-9/11 program designed to prevent damage to public facilities by terrorists.

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Advocates argue budget threatens Connecticut’s right-to-know agency

Both the state Freedom of Information Commission and the state's leading right-to-know advocacy group warned Friday that a proposed 20 percent budget cut for the commission — and the possible transfer of its public information officer into Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office — could greatly weaken state government transparency.

But the Senate chair of the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, West Hartford Democrat Beth Bye, warned that the FOIC’s funding is far from settled, and many alternatives remain on the table.

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Connecticut teacher evaluation data likely to be made public, not individual scores

Controversy is mounting over whether the state will require teachers to be evaluated and graded based partly on student test scores, but under pressure from the Freedom of Information Commission, the state is poised to begin releasing some evaluation data to the public.

The state legislature is currently considering a bill, sponsored by 52 of its 187 members, that would override the State Board of Education's push to link student test scores and teacher evaluations.

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Connecticut watchdog agencies fear results of deep cuts

The state’s watchdog agencies, whose budgets constitute a miniscule amount of the $19.8 billion state budget next year, say more cuts will leave them unable to function.

The executive directors of the Freedom of Information Commission, the State Election Enforcement Commission and the Office of State Ethics told the New Haven Register’s editorial board Thursday that their collective mission to provide transparency and keep government honest is being threatened.

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