Why Isn’t the Michigan Legislature Covered by the Freedom of Information Act?

Nearly every state allows citizens to access records about state legislatures and governors. Not Michigan. It’s not for a lack of trying. Bills introduced in each of the last two years have passed the Michigan House but died in the Senate. Jane Briggs-Bunting, founding president and current board member of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government, says she’ll keep working…


Oklahoma Joe: Government transparency must improve

This has nothing to do with whether Oklahoma Rep. Dan Kirby is innocent of sexual harassment, as he claims. This has nothing to do with whether University of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon deserves a second chance after a video showed him punching a woman who had slapped him.

This has everything to do with our right to know what transpires in a public setting or how our taxpayer dollars are being spent.


Editorial: Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt grants a license to secrecy

With a preposterous opinion, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has created an opportunity for each and every state employee to operate behind a curtain of secrecy.

It is OK to conduct public business on private e-mail accounts, the attorney general said. And the correspondence need not be subject to the Kansas Open Records Act.


Florida Open Government Takes A Hit But It Seems Little Can Be Done

The House GOP met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss their strategy regarding a possible expansion of Medicaid. The move has raised the ire of the Democrats and open government advocates, but it seems there’s very little that can be done.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) says the House Republican caucus met Tuesday morning to discuss the history of LIP, or low income pool funding.


Hartford Says It Violated State FOI Laws With Stadium Meeting

Hartford officials have admitted they violated various aspects of the state's open meetings law last year when they held a closed-door meeting to discuss proposals to build a new minor league baseball stadium.

Last August, the city assembled a panel including members of the public to interview prospective developers and "help frame the recommendation to the city council." But a notice of that meeting was not posted in advance, and the meeting wasn't open to the public.


Maryland legislature revamps public information law

Obtaining documents from government agencies in Maryland is no simple task. The process typically involves filing a written request under the state's Public Information Act and waiting up to 30 days — but can also lead to disputes over photocopying fees, redacted details or outright denials.

Reporters, lawyers, nonprofits and others have long had only one way to resolve disputes: in the courts.


Tennessee Sen. Jim Tracy sends open records bill to summer study

Legislation allowing local governments to charge fees for access to public records was pulled from debate this session for summer study designed to prepare a comprehensive open records bill.

State Sen. Jim Tracy, a Bedford County Republican who sponsored the measure, took the bill off notice recently after holding several meetings with interested groups such as Tennessee Coalition for Open Government and Tennessee Press Association.