‘Conservative’ string attached to $50 million college gift
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A $50 million gift made earlier this year to Virginia's largest public university was given specifically to "promote the conservative principles of governance," newly released...
Tong says lawmakers subject to FOI on new nonprofit board
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Documents held by elected officials related to a new education-related nonprofit are not exempt from Connecticut's open records laws, the state attorney general ruled...
NY judge cites ‘urgency’ of FOIA case regarding Khashoggi
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal agencies must produce thousands of pages monthly of records pertaining to the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi because learning about his disappearance as quickly...
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A court decision could force the University of Michigan to open the records of a doctor who is considered by critics to be an influential voice in anti-immigration...
Wealthy donation to state raises concerns about transparency
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — So excited about a pledge of $100 million for public education from Barbara and Ray Dalio, founder of the world's largest hedge fund, Connecticut state officials agreed to...
Editorial Roundup: Recent editorials in Arkansas newspapers
Here are excerpts from recent editorials in Arkansas newspapers:
Southwest Times Record. June 23, 2019.
Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Josephine Linker Hart last week perfectly summed...
Contract would limit disclosure of troopers’ personnel files
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A new contract for Connecticut State Police includes new restrictions on the public release of information in troopers' personnel files, drawing concerns from government...
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that some internal court records are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — A Cornell University student is suing a South Carolina county, saying officials are violating the state's Freedom of Information Act by charging excessive fees.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Newspaper and public-information advocacy groups are objecting to what they see as the Montana Legislature failing to give the public proper notice of meetings.
Iowa Supreme Court sees wide FOIA exemption for police files
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police records related to investigations can be withheld from the public under Iowa's freedom of information law even after the cases have been closed, a unanimous Iowa...
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The school board of Norfolk, Virginia, has once again held a meeting in violation of the state's Freedom of Information Act.
Lawmakers push back against Interior’s proposed FOIA changes
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of congressional leaders said Tuesday that the Interior Department's plan to clamp down on public records requests would undermine government transparency and...
Newspaper honored for Sandy Hook shooting records quest
BOSTON (AP) — The New England First Amendment Coalition is honoring the Hartford Courant for fighting to get records about the Sandy Hook school shooter unsealed.
NEFAC's Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award is presented annually to New England journalists who protect or advance the public's right to know under federal or state law.
Governor tightens Michigan FOIA rules, except for her office
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — New Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a directive Friday aimed at making it easier to obtain public documents from state departments but stopped short of taking the same action for the governor's office, one of just two nationwide wholly exempt from open-records laws.
Interior proposal to limit records requests draws challenge
WASHINGTON (AP) — Advocates for a free press are challenging an Interior Department proposal to limit requests for access to public records under the federal Freedom of Information Act, saying Thursday the moves would "clamp down on transparency."
State should disclose inmate-death records: Access counselor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner's corrections agency has refused to release public records about a prison altercation that led to the homicide of a 65-year-old inmate and forced the paid suspension of at least four correctional officers.
- Black Hills PioneerFAA rejects Freedom of Information Act request — for nowAugust 8, 2019
- Ludington Daily NewsLudington Committee of the Whole to talk FOIA, Open Meetings ActApril 14, 2019
- Connecticut PostForum Fix blind sport in Freedom of Information lawJanuary 25, 2019
- Connecticut PostBill would end state’s sale of voters’ dataJanuary 19, 2019
- Connecticut PostBridgeport Council, lawyers must brush up on FOIAOctober 7, 2018
Illinois attorney general hopefuls pledge records access
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Candidates for Illinois attorney general in the Nov. 6 election pledge to tackle a backlog of appeals on denied public-records requests.
The attorney general's public access counselor was created in 2010 to referee bureaucrats' rejections under the Freedom of Information Act .
2 Texas news organizations win Freedom of Information awards
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Two news organizations have been honored for outstanding open government reporting in Texas.
The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas on Friday recognized the Austin American-Statesman and KBTX-TV of Bryan-College Station with Nancy Monson Spirit of FOI Awards. The awards were presented during the FOIFT state conference in Austin.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Saturday released a set of documents once deemed top secret relating to the wiretapping of a onetime adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
The New York Times reported that the documents involving former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were released to the Times and several other media organizations that had filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain them. The FBI later posted the documents to its FOIA website online.
Florida publication seeks FBI 9/11 records on family’s ties
MIAMI (AP) — A Florida online publication asked a federal appeals court to order a trial be held on its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking FBI documents that may reveal a U.S.-based support network for the 9/11 hijackers.
Appeals court hears Florida lawsuit seeking FBI 9/11 records
MIAMI (AP) — A Florida online publication asked a federal appeals court Thursday to order a trial be held on its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking FBI documents that may reveal a U.S.-based support network for the 9/11 hijackers.
The Latest: Scrutiny of ‘politically charged’ FOIA requests
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Environmental Protection Agency's handling of public records requests (all times local):
Environmental Protection Agency Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson is defending his agency's handling of records requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
Freedom of Information Act training to be offered
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four free training sessions will be offered to help citizens, media representatives and public employees learn more about gaining access to public records under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
The Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council will host the sessions, beginning later this month.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Cuomo administration has announced the launching of a new website that provides access to the public records of dozens of New York state agencies and public authorities.
Democratic lawmaker challenges Pruitt on EPA public records
WASHINGTON (AP) — Top political appointees of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directed that they review in advance all of the public records released by the agency under the Freedom of Information Act, according to EPA emails disclosed Monday by a senior House Democrat.
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City councilman wants city agencies to give journalists priority to receive responses on Freedom of Information Law requests.
CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a Virginia police department is not required to publicly release body camera footage from a controversial traffic stop.
The judge said the footage is considered part of a criminal investigation and falls under an exemption in Virginian's Freedom of Information law.
The ruling came after Chesterfield police denied Reason magazine's request for a copy of the footage. Police also denied a request from The Associated Press.
CENTRAL CITY, Ark. (AP) — A councilwoman in northwestern Arkansas says she was harassed after filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the city's Water Department.
Civil rights groups sue homeland security over targeted surveillance
(NNPA) - Last week, several civil rights groups filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release the contents of the agency’s redacted memo referred to in government documents as the “Race Paper.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights along with Color of Change first uncovered the existence of the “Race Paper” after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Judge: Federal investigative files in Wetterling case must be returned to FBI
A district judge has ordered Stearns County to return to the FBI thousands of pages of investigative documents related to the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, overruling objections from a coalition of news media and others that sought to review them pursuant to state open records laws.
Trib Sunshine Week 2018 editorial: Rising censorship sheds less light on Washington
Records on Freedom of Information Act requests for fiscal year 2017, which ended Sept. 30, were released shortly before Sunshine Week 2018, which celebrates the media's watchdog role, the people's right to know and public-access laws such as FOIA. Unfortunately, an Associated Press analysis of those records shows that the federal government increasingly doesn't provide what FOIA requesters are seeking.
Editor’s note: Let the sunshine in government
Michigan is the darkest state in the nation, and not just because of its seemingly endless, gray winter.
Our state requires the least amount of transparency and accountability of its executive and legislative branches.
Michigan is alone in exempting by law the governor and Legislature from its Freedom of Information Act, which gives the public access to public information.
Gov. Snyder approves cybersecurity FOIA exemptions
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Open-records disclosures can no longer include information on cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities in Michigan.
While citizens in the other 49 states celebrate the 13th annual national Sunshine Week this week, Michigan residents live in a state that remains an outlier in transparency and accountability under its freedom of information laws.
Lansing — All major party candidates competing to be Michigan's next governor want to open the office to public records requests, a show of support that transparency advocates hope will help break a long-running legislative stalemate.
Legislature OKs exempting cybersecurity info from FOIA
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities would be exempt from open-records requests under legislation approved by Michigan lawmakers Tuesday.
Advocacy group sues Justice for prison policy files
WASHINGTON (AP) — An advocacy group is suing the Justice Department for not turning over records sought under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. The group says the records could shed light on the Trump administration's dealings with private prison companies in forming new policies on incarceration.
Bill to exempt certain judicial records from FOIA withdrawn
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A controversial bill that sought to exempt administrative records of the judiciary from Virginia's public records law has been withdrawn by its sponsor.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford, moved to strike his bill from the Senate floor Wednesday.
The bill said the Supreme Court's Office of the Executive Secretary would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
Health chief requires FOIA from senator to release emails
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is forcing state lawmakers to use the public-records law to get emails regarding a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy.
Fort Smith to appeal FOIA ruling in case over emails
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Fort Smith will appeal a ruling that three city directors violated the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act by discussing city business through email.
The city's Board of Directors voted Tuesday to confirm the filing of a notice of appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court. City attorney Jerry Canfield filed the notice Jan. 30 to avoid missing the 30-day deadline to appeal the decision by Sebastian County Circuit Judge J. Michael Fitzhugh, according to a memo to directors.
GREENWICH — At a time when the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting has pledged to be more open and accessible, an attempt to require members to use town email accounts when conducting official business has been met with stiff opposition.
The Freedom of Information Act does not require RTM members to use town accounts, but communicating via personal email is not best practice, said state FOI officials.
South Carolina Broadcasters Association honors 3
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina broadcasters have honored an attorney who's led freedom of information efforts for decades, a longtime television station general manager and an award-winning television meteorologist.
The South Carolina Broadcasters Association honored recipients at their annual winter meeting in Columbia Thursday night.
Bill would exempt trade secrets from FOIA
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Open government and environmental advocates are once again battling bills they say that would limit public-information access by creating a Freedom of Information Act exclusion for trade secrets.
HB 904 by Del. Roxann Robinson, R-Chesterfield, would create general exclusions from FOIA for trade secrets submitted to a public body. It passed its initial hearing in a House General Laws subcommittee Tuesday.
Fort Smith to appeal ruling that city violated FOIA
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Fort Smith will appeal a judge's ruling that city officials violated the Freedom of Information Act by conducting public meeting business through email.
STAMFORD — A longstanding city government practice created a perception that can be described by paraphrasing a line from the George Orwell novel “Animal Farm.”
All city representatives are equal, but some city representatives are more equal than others.
Judge: Fort Smith officials violated FOIA in emails
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A judge has ruled that Fort Smith officials violated the Freedom of Information Act in email exchanges from last year.
The Times Record reports that the Sebastian County Circuit judge denied on Thursday the city's motion for summary judgment in a civil lawsuit that claims the city violated FOIA. Court documents show the judge granted summary judgment to Bruce Wade.
Arkansas attorney general says Bielema buyout public record
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' attorney general says the terms of the buyout of fired Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema's contract is subject to the state's Freedom of Information Act and can be released.
Ganim requests video, ‘other information’ from Negron shooting
BRIDGEPORT — More than seven months after a rookie police officer shot and killed 15-year-old Jayson Negron, Mayor Joe Ganim has requested the State’s Attorney’s Office release “any video and other information” related to an investigation of the incident.
Community leaders and groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, have long demanded that any video footage of the incident, which occurred near Park and Fairfield avenues by a Walgreens pharmacy, be made public.