As the General Assembly concludes its business for the year, it is time to take stock of changes made to North Carolina's sunshine laws.
So far lawmakers have approved, and Gov. Pat McCrory has signed, seven new exemptions to the Public Records Law. Three more lurk in the recently finalized budget bill. Continue>>>
Read More… from Editorial by Jonathan D. Jones: Government transparency is being lost in N.C.
From wsoctv.com: INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. — Proposed changes to the public records policy in Indian Trail are raising questions about government transparency.
Tuesday evening, the Town Council will vote on the proposal, which civil rights experts said could limit citizens’ access to information.
Under the new policy, residents would have to prepay a 75 percent deposit for any records requests that could exceed $100.
Read More… from Changes to Indian Trail public records policy raises questions
From Times-News: GRAHAM — An attorney representing the Alamance News has filed a motion in response to the U.S Department of Justice’s argument against providing documents covered by a joint confidentiality and protective order in its lawsuit against Sheriff Terry Johnson.
Read More… from Press attorney contests DOJ argument to keep records confidential
Opinion from News-Record.com:
North Carolina’s open government laws are good. But enforcement is weak.
A Republican state senator from Wilmington is trying to add muscle, proposing a bill to make it a misdemeanor for public officials to unlawfully close meetings or deny access to records.
Read More… from Open government needs enforcement
Saying government employees and bureaucrats can “break the law with impunity” when it comes the state’s open meetings and public records laws, Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican and trial attorney, wants to give the law some teeth.
And by teeth he means up to 20 days in jail.
Read More… from NC Sen. Goolsby wants to strengthen open meetings, public records laws with jail time for violators
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:
Indiana jail records coming to smartphones
Read More… from NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for September 14, 2012