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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Sunshine Week reminds public officials of their obligation to openness

Editorial from Star-Telegram:

The Texas Open Meetings Act is designed to let members of the public see what their elected officials are up to. But sometimes, you watch them in action and still wonder what they’re up to.

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Started in Florida in 2002, Sunshine Week spotlights the public’s right to know.

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