CCFOI Meeting Minutes — Nov. 15, 2023

The meeting was via Zoom.

Present: Mike Savino, Tom Scheffey, Jacky Smith, Mary Connolly, Michele Jacklin, Jeff Daniels, Mitch Pearlman, Steve Nevas, Jodi Gil, Karen Florin, Chris Powell, Paula Pearlman, Liz Gemski.

The minutes of the Oct. 18, 2023 monthly meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s report: Smith reported a balance of $13,363.46. Letters and dues invoices will go out in early January.

Legislative report: Gemski said the revenue report was released last week. The state is still in the black. A $600 million surplus is expected, less than the $1.1 billion surplus estimated earlier this year. The state Office of Policy and Management is gathering a list of agencies that use algorithms. Daniels said OPM’s definition of algorithms will be key in evaluating the information collected. Savino said he will write to legislative leaders regarding the legislation exempting the disclosure of whistleblower complaints. A fix is needed to require more information on complaints be added to the auditors’ annual report. Savino agreed to send the letter to board members.

Gemski said CCFOI must be “more robust in our strategy.” University professors are gearing up for another effort to have the legislature create an FOI exemption for their research and other documents. The FOIC staff says there are already exemptions that can answer the professors’ concerns, but they simply don’t want to go through the process of being subject to FOI. Gemski said CCFOI must be prepared if UConn and other state university administrators take a position in favor of an FOI exemption for professors.

2024 CCFOI legislative agenda: After some discussion, our 2024 agenda was set. (1) Opposition to provisions in state employee collective bargaining agreements that supersede the FOI Act. (2) Opposition to an FOI exemption for professors’ research and other documents. (3) Opposition to charging for man-hours for searches under the FOI Act. (4) Opposition to an FOI exemption for videos recorded in homes on police body cameras. (5) Opposition to an FOI exemption for the disclosure of employee addresses.

Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Dec. 12, 2023 at 9 a.m. via Zoom.