Journalists banned from Iowa Senate floor; transparency advocates raise concerns

Republican leaders in Iowa have banned journalists from the Senate floor, a break from a 140-year tradition that raises alarms among freedom of information advocates, The Washington Post reported Jan. 8, 2022. During the state’s 2022 legislative session, reporters will be barred from press benches near senators’ desks. Reporters told The Post that proximity to…


Attorney general’s position in lawsuit is concerning, Iowa transparency advocate says

The executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council has raised concerns about court filings in which the attorney general’s office suggests the state’s freedom of information law is not standing policy, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported Aug. 20, 2021. “I am worried that the state’s legal arguments … will be viewed by government…


NFOIC supports Puerto Rico coalition in brief calling for financial board transparency

The National Freedom of Information Coalition’s Puerto Rico affiliate, Espacios Abiertos, filed an amici brief in a public records appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  In solidarity with Espacios Abiertos, the NFOIC, the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and the Nevada Open Government Coalition also signed the brief.  The…


Iowa is denying the public access to some records of its COVID-19 response

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has denied some requests for information about Iowa’s preparedness and response to the novel coronavirus by citing a broad exemption in the state’s public records law. Two Iowa agencies have denied Des Moines Register requests this month seeking documentation of the state’s pandemic response plan and daily reports regarding the state’s response to the virus and COVID-19,…


Judge orders city to give up full video in case of Iowa mom killed by cop

A federal judge has ordered Iowa to release video and other records in the 2015 police shooting death of Burlington mother Autumn Steele, a ruling that could open more law enforcement video to public inspection. Burlington Police officer Jesse Hill accidentally shot Steele after he responded to a report of a domestic dispute during which…


University of Iowa failed to open letter from Freedom of Information Council

University of Iowa officials say they weren't intentionally ignoring a letter from the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.

It's just that no one had gotten around to opening the letter until last weekend.

In a letter dated Dec. 30 and sent to the new university president, FOI Council Executive Director Randy Evans raised concerns about UI's refusal to release documents related to work done for the university by a company owned by former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn.