Until last summer, police in Connecticut had to provide information about arrests or prove why that information should not be public. But a state Supreme Court ruling in July turned that bedrock principle upside down.
The court basically gave police full power to withhold much detail about arrests until the case is closed, which could take years. The remedy, the court wrote, is legislative and up to the General Assembly.
Read More… from Support bill to restore public right to arrest details
Vermont's new open-meeting law asks too much of small-town technology, the head of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns says.
Some towns don't use email. And posting meeting agendas and minutes on a town website, as required under law, is a tall order, said VLCT executive director Steven Jeffrey.
Read More… from Lawmakers consider relaxing open meeting law
For now, the closest thing to an investigation into Gov. Rick Scott's attempted purge of state agency leaders is a lawsuit. Floridians should be grateful for the litigation.
Read More… from Lawsuit can keep Florida the Sunshine state of government
The South Carolina House has given key approval to a bill that creates a new court to handle disputes over how government agencies handle open records requests.
The bill approved 90-16 on Wednesday would cut the amount of time agencies can take to answer a request for public records to 10 business days. It also would require agencies to post fee schedules to assure they are not trying to block requests by charging excessive money for copying and research.
Read More… from Bill creating court to hear FOIA complaints passes House
In 1788, revolutionary leader Patrick Henry said: “The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”
That basic democratic principle is still important more than 200 years later.
Read More… from BGA takes Rosemont to court in fight over Freedom of Information Act
A bill inspired by the Oakwood Hills power plant debacle to make it easier to report Illinois Open Meetings Act violations will likely get a minor tweak to help its odds of passage.
House Bill 175, filed last month by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, seeks to allow people to report a violation of the act within 60 days of its discovery. Current law limits the reporting period to 60 days from the date of the meeting in question, meaning that violations discovered after that date cannot be reported to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Read More… from Illinois Open Meetings Act bill to be debated
A new law that was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in January will ensure local governments cannot charge excessive fees for requests under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
The bill, which was introduced by Michigan Sen. Mike Shirkey, limits the per-page amount a municipality or other public body can charge for documents requested under the act, or FOIA, to 10 cents.
Read More… from State streamlines Freedom of Information Act requests
When Maryland adopted its public information policy 45 years ago, email hadn't been invented yet, commercial laser printers were being refined for the market and the ink on the federal Freedom of Information Act was barely dry.
On Tuesday open government advocates began their push to update the Maryland Public Information Act of 1970.
Read More… from New legislation would update Maryland Public Information Act, improve access to public records
Open government experts say he's asking for the impossible. Tim Clemans, a local computer programmer, has requested almost every email from every state agency ever sent, which some fear could push the public records act to the breaking point.
Email is one of the main ways state government workers communicate. Clemans wants the public to have access to the messages those workers send.
Read More… from State government asked to provide nearly every email ever sent
A governor’s first actions in office are watched closely by the media, presumably because they tell us something about their priorities.
Since Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, was inaugurated last week, he has signed a couple ethics-related executive orders. He has very publicly gone to war with the GOP by firing the chief of the state’s Office of Open Records, who was appointed by his predecessor Republican Gov. Corbett during his final days in office.
Read More… from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Cabinet Got Schooled on Your Right to Know