Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
Minutes, Feb. 15, 2023
The meeting was via Zoom.
Present: Mike Savino, Tom Scheffey, Jacqueline Smith, Mary Connolly, Jeff Daniels, Michele Jacklin, Mitch Pearlman, Steve Nevas, Gary Gold, Liz Gemski, Chris Powell, Karen Florin, Colleen Murphy, Paula Pearlman.
Treasurer’s report: Smith reported a balance of $16,586.76, up from $9,636.78 in January. Hearst Connecticut Media Group paid $4,000 in dues, Connecticut Foundation for Open Government contributed $2,000 and individuals responded to letters sent out on dues.
President’s report: Savino talked to CFOG leaders about future awards and award events and agreed to work together to avoid any appearance of a competition between the two organizations.
Legislative report: Daniels said some perennial FOI-related bills will appear this year, making it easier to draft testimony. Gemski discussed the status of the expected algorithm bill. Daniels thanked Gemski for her work on the algorithm bill, staying in close touch with those drafting the bill. There was discussion of the Bridgeport FOI controversy. There is a backlog of 2,000 requests. Access to constituent email addresses is once again being discussed. Constituent information is already exempt from disclosure, but legislators are really interested in limiting access to constituent email lists that they use for campaigning. They don’t want to give opponents easy
access to constituent email addresses.
Meetings: We decided two meetings a month are needed while the legislature is in session. We will have a special meeting March 1 at 9 a.m. via Zoom. Paula Pearlman also volunteered to add CCFOI board members to the distribution list for the regular update she does on scheduled public hearings.
Looking forward: There will be two CCFOI meetings in March. A special meeting on legislative developments will be March 1 at 9 a.m. via Zoom. The regular monthly meeting will be March 15 at 9 a.m. via Zoom.