By Kayla Mutchler
WESTON — At what point do requests for public information become harassment? That’s a question the state Freedom of Information Commission may have to decide between the school system and a local couple that have filed more than 100 Freedom of Information Act requests in the past few years. (Read More)
From The Day, New London
Commitment to the principle of Freedom of Information lies deep in the DNA of The Day. Throughout its history, the newspaper has championed the right to know – not just our right to know, but yours. No legal or constitutional distinction separates the rights of the public from those of the press as regards freedom of information. (Read More)
By Tricia Ennie
by Joshua Eaton, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas
During the final days of the General Assembly session, lawmakers voted to strengthen Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act — the law that entitles members of the public to access government records — for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Experts say the reforms, which Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law on Wednesday, further enhance Connecticut’s public records law, which has long been a model both within the U.S. and globally. (Read More)
by David DesRoches
Should public universities be able to operate behind closed doors? That’s essentially what would happen if Senate Bill 1153 becomes law. In fact, the only information that would be provided to the taxpaying public would be budget-related.
We wouldn’t know, for example, if the university was improperly experimenting on animals — the very thing that Justin Goodman found in 2004 when he used Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to expose “wasteful and cruel experiments on monkeys.” If 1153 was law in 2004, Goodman wouldn’t have gotten the records he sought, and your tax dollars would likely still be going toward illegal animal experimentation. (Read More)
By Christine Stuart
Similar to what lawmakers have been trying to practice this session, some lawmakers want local boards and commission members to show their faces when talking and voting remotely.
The bill, which passed the Planning & Development Committee, last week would require boards of selectmen, city councils, boards of representatives, local and regional boards of education, zoning commissions and other local bodies to show their faces on Zoom when talking and voting. (Read More)
When it comes to fights over public education – from removing pornography from school libraries to ensuring racial essentialism isn’t laundered into school curricula through “equity” initiatives – the actual question is whether publicly funded educational institutions should be subject to public control. In other words, it’s a question of whether American leaders value democracy.
This is true at the college level, too. Indeed, public colleges in Connecticut receive so much money that they’re apoplectic over Gov. Ned Lamont including nearly $900 million in his recent two-year budget proposal. That amount of money, college leaders and students say, is unacceptably low.
But despite the fact that these institutions would not exist without massive appropriations of public money, some state leaders don’t think public universities should be accountable to the public. (Read More)
By Brian Hallenbeck
May 5—Connecticut’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill this week that would establish a task force to study requiring public comment periods at meetings of all public agencies.
The bill will move to the Senate for consideration.
The measure originated in response to a policy in effect in Groton, where public comment is allowed during monthly Town Council meetings but not at twice-a-month meetings at which the council convenes as Committee of the Whole. (Read More)
By Connecticut Law Tribune Editorial Board
This started out as a great year for Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, but now it’s in trouble.
In February, investigative reporters at Hearst Media produced a powerful series detailing Bridgeport’s shocking record of non-compliance with FOIA requests. Bridgeport’s delinquency led to a chronic backlog of 2,000 pending cases, mostly due to its practice of funneling the vast majority of cases through a woefully understaffed city attorney’s office. (Read More)