CCFOI Meeting Minutes – Feb. 19, 2014

Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
Minutes, February 19, 2014

Present: Chris Powell, Tom Scheffey, Tom Hennick, Mitch Pearlman, Steve Kalb, George Lombardi, Zach Janowski, Dick Ahles, Jim Smith

Lombardi’s treasurer’s report: we have a balance of $19,696. We will send out a second round of bills to those who have not yet paid dues.

Smith described the meeting with GAE Chairs Musto and Jutila as worthwhile. Where last year none of our initiatives were raised as a bill, this year some have been proposed. With the help of State Librarian Wiggins, the historical records proposal of releasing medical records after 50 years (the federal HIPPA standard) and other historical records after 75 years (National Archives practice) is before the GAE Committee. As is making public UConn Foundation records. Smith, Claude Albert and Chris VanDeHoef met with the Chairs. Colleen Murphy and Paula Pearlman had a separate meeting with them.

Albert, VanDeHoef and Paula Pearlman testified Wednesday in support of the two above mentioned bills. Pearlman also testified against a proposal to exempt probation officers’ personnel records from disclosure. Smith and Mary Schwind testified Tuesday against a plan to make secret pardon applications.

CCFOI and FOIC written testimony will be forward to CCFOI members and the media.

An idea by CFOG President Dan Klau to create a CCFOI courage award for legislators who vote in favor of FOI measures was discussed. It was generally felt our present Bice Clemow Award covers supportive government officials. There was more discussion on Klau’s proposal to rate legislators on FOI votes, and getting a plan ready for 2015.

Mitch Pearlman and Smith will attend a meeting of the CFOG board members Thursday 2/20 to discuss advancing Comptroller Lembo’s actions of getting government information online.

There was discussion of the incident of a WFSB free-lancer using a drone to photograph a Hartford accident. Members are encouraged to write editorials and op-eds to support the free-lancer, who was suspended by WFSB.

Next meeting March 19, Wood n’ Tap, Sisson Avenue, Hartford.

Minutes prepared by Smith in Sec. mary Connolly’s absence.