CCFOI Meeting Minutes – Oct. 21, 2020

The meeting was by Zoom.

Present: Mike Savino, Matt Kauffman, Paula Pearlman, Michele Jacklin, Gary Gold, Liz Gemski, Mitch Pearlman, Jeff Daniels, Chris Powell, Colleen Murphy, George Lombardi, Tom Scheffey, Mary Connolly.

The minutes of the Sept. 16, 2020 meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s report: Lombardi reported a balance of $10,338.35. Lombardi has retired but is still doing the work as treasurer. We are still looking for a new treasurer.

Lobbyist update: Liz Gemski has left Murtha Cullina and joined another lobbying firm, Kozak & Salina. CCFOI’s contract allowed a 30-day cancellation. Our legislative committee decided to move with Gemski to Kozak & Salina. It was agreed to sign a 2-year contract with Kozak & Salina at the current rate, with a 30-day cancellation provision.

Legislative report: Gemski said new leaders will be taking over in the legislature next year and it is not clear how the legislative session will be organized as the pandemic continues.

CCFOI legislative agenda: There was discussion of items for our 2021 legislative agenda. Gemski suggested going on the offensive to push legislation that would require public hearings on issues that involve FOI. There was discussion of exploring the option of a constitutional amendment to give more protection to the FOI Act. State consolidation and modernization, already being studied, is another issue for the agenda. A quarter of state employees will be eligible to retire on July 1, 2022. New digital programs and the use of artificial intelligence are being discussed.

Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Nov. 18 at noon, via Zoom.