CCFOI Meeting Minutes – Jan. 31, 2018

The meeting was at Wood-n-Tap, 99 Sisson Ave., Hartford.

Present: Dan Klau, Zach Janowski, Kaley Lentini, Dana Whalen, Colleen Murphy, Chris Powell,

Tom Scheffey, Paula Pearlman, John Bailey, Michele Jacklin.

The minutes of the December 6, 2017 meeting were accepted.

Legislative report: John Bailey gave a presentation on his meeting with Rep. Godfrey and Sen. Bye regarding the status of CT-N. He stated that they planned to hold an informational forum on CT-N on March 6. They would like CCFOI’s support, which we agreed to provide.

Dan Klau and John Bailey gave a presentation on their meeting with Sen. Michael McLachlan, who had reached out to CCFOI in anticipation of the new legislative session. Dan and John stated that they presented CCFOI’s legislative priorities to Sen. McLachlan, focusing on preventing further budget cuts to the Freedom of Information Commission. They also discussed the Len Suzio proposal to allow municipalities to charge for retrieving electronic records, such as emails and videos. They asked Sen. McLachlan whether he would reconsider his position opposing the historical records bill. He said he would not. They also discussed the editorial independence (or lack thereof) of CT-N. Sen. McLachlan explained that there was a perception among legislative leaders that the vendor that had operated CT-N had failed to appreciate that because CT-N depended upon the legislature for funding, it needed to be more sensitive to the concerns of members of the General Assembly about coverage issues.

Colleen Murphy and Paula Pearlman gave a presentation on the FOIC’s agenda for the upcoming session. In particular, they discussed an anticipated proposal from the Secretary of the State’s office to restrict public access to voter registration information. They also discussed a bill proposed last year by Rep. Dunsby that would give the FOIC greater ability to address the problem posed by “vexatious” freedom of information access requests.

Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Feb. 21, 2018 at noon at Wood-n-Tap.