New Jersey just got 600 more websites transparent

From Sunshine Review

Literally, New Jersey just got 600 more websites transparent.   A law passed this last January is requiring 600 local entities,  such as  water utilities, port authorities and county park commissions, to provide budgets, audit reports, meeting dates, contacts and other information on the Internet.

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Things you should have easy access to, but don’t

From Detroit Free Press

About five years ago, finding out whether your new neighbor spent time behind bars for murder, rape, robbery — even writing bad checks — required little more than an Internet connection.

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Editorial: More local compliance on FOI laws needed

From The Journal News

The public’s right to know how government operates — and how it spends taxpayers’ money — supersedes local laws that pledge “confidentiality” and aim to protect the “privacy” of public officials.

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Newspaper wins appeal for 2002 police report

From ForestLeaves:

Hillside Police Department must turn over a 2002 police report describing the arrest of Emanuel “Chris” Welch for domestic battery, the Illinois attorney general ordered Friday.

Forest Leaves has been seeking the report since January, but Hillside police refused a Freedom of Information Act request, saying there was no arrest and that the matter was private.

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County in Illinois Goes On Twitter To Ask For Citizen Feedback On Public Records Policy

From Sunshine Review:

A very important component of open government involves collaboration between governments and citizens. The purpose of transparency is so that citizens can play their role in holding governments accountable. Also, because governments need to answer to citizens because they work to serve our interests, it is proper that they involve us in key decisions.

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