Texas city violates Open Meetings Act in session to teach … Open Meetings Act

An Odessa, Texas, “workshop” on the state’s Open Meetings Act was itself a violation of the Open Meetings Act, experts said. Alan J. Bojorquez, an Austin-based attorney who lead the workshop, said the meeting was exempt because it was for informational purposes, the Odessa American reported. Bojorquez also claimed it was a private meeting because…

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Texas legislators pass transparency bills, but open government work remains unfinished

Texas lawmakers approved two transparency measures to ensure greater access to public records after some governments closed off information during the COVID-19 pandemic.   “We are certainly glad lawmakers made these important improvements to Texas open government laws,” said Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. “And a number of legislators…

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TX: Open Meeting Lawsuit Filed against Amarillo City Council for Absence of Agenda Communication

AMARILLO, Texas – A lawsuit against the City of Amarillo claims city council members and the mayor violated the Texas Open Meetings Act multiple times. Claudette Smith and Michael Fisher filed a complaint with the Potter County District Clerk claiming that city council members Place Two Freda Powell, Place Three Eddy Sauer, and Place Four…

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Attorney: Strong evidence El Paso mayor, reps violated Texas Open Meetings Act

An attorney who specializes in open government believes there is strong evidence that showed four El Paso city council members and the mayor knowingly evaded the Texas Open Meetings Act in December.

Houston attorney Joe Larsen described the group's actions as "alarming." Larsen is a member of The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. The group works to ensure the public's business is conducted in public and protect the liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment.

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FOI Foundation Texas offers Nov. 16 Open Government Seminar in Denton

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas will host an Open Government Seminar in Denton in November featuring training in public meetings and public records laws.

The non-profit FOI Foundation, in cooperation with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office and the Mayborn School of Journalism at UNT, will offer the one-day seminar on Wednesday, Nov. 16. It is designed for government employees, journalists, attorneys and members of the general public interested in the Texas Public Information Act and Texas Open Meetings Act.

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FOIFT names Rep. Todd Hunter Open Government Lawmaker of the Year

AUSTIN, Texas — Rep. Todd Hunter, who has authored legislation to improve public access to government and protect First Amendment rights, is receiving the Open Government Lawmaker of the Year Award from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, is chairman of the House Calendars Committee. He served in the House from 1989-97 and returned in 2009. He has long been an advocate for open government. Hunter will receive the award during the FOI Foundation’s annual conference Aug. 9 in Austin.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for July 26, 2013

From NFOIC:  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.

While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

Wisconsin DOJ sets 3 seminars on public records, meetings

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