Veto push on Florida records limitations

First Amendment advocates are asking Gov. Rick Scott to veto three Senate bills his office received on Thursday, arguing that each measure represents another diminishment of Florida’s long tradition of open government and open records.

The First Amendment Foundation, an advocacy group for open government funded by newspapers and other groups and individuals, is asking Scott to veto four bills, including a House bill he has yet to receive.

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NSA chief urges Congress to pass ‘cyber-sharing’ legislation

America’s spy chief wants Congress to hurry up and pass a bill that would increase the flow of cyberthreat information between the private sector and the government.

“One of the greatest things I think Congress can do here is to create a legal framework that enhances this idea of the free flow of information both ways,” said National Security Agency director Adm. Michael Rogers on Monday at an event hosted by George Washington University.

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Opinion: Why strengthening the Freedom of Information Act is so important

President Obama has routinely promised greater transparency within the federal government. Now, Congress is making strides toward achieving this critical goal.

The House of Representatives and the Senate are considering nearly identical bills to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which provides the general public, including journalists, with access to federal government records.

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Opinion: Andy Shaw: Don’t weaken Illinois Freedom of Information Act

At the Better Government Association, we’re also following another “season”—the annual legislative session in Springfield.

As we head into the final innings, the box score indicates the General Assembly is playing “small ball” — moving ahead on bills aimed at eliminating a few more unnecessary units of government, expanding transparency, increasing civic engagement, and improving the criminal justice system.

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Police body cams: Bill would exempt footage from FOIA

The issue of requiring police officers to wear body cameras, which is getting increased attention in light of several high profile deaths of African-American males at the hands of police officers across the nation, landed before the Legislature Monday.

But the policy discussion wasn't about state funds available for body cameras or mandating the use of the new technology. The first bill up for discussion before the House Judiciary Committee is one that would exempt some body-cam footage from release under the state's Freedom of Information laws.

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Public record search fee removed from Ind. bill

Lawmakers stripped an education bill of major proposed changes to Indiana's open records laws on Thursday after concerns were raised about how the measure would impact all government agencies and not just schools.

The legislation aims to simplify school management by eliminating duplicate and obsolete reporting requirements that school administrators say are taking resources away from the classroom. But the legislation also included a provision that would allow government agencies to charge a fee for information that takes longer than two hours to gather.

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Bill would strip universities of their FoIA exemptions

Thursday was the first day in more than a month lawmakers could file bills, as the General Assembly has been on a six-week recess.

In advance of the session set to resume Tuesday, several items came in Thursday afternoon.
House Bill 42, sponsored by Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, removes the Freedom of Information Act exemption from the state’s two main universities.

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