Freedom of Information Under Threat in Connecticut –

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)

CT Viewpoints: Stop CT’s attack on its own accountability and transparency – CT Mirror

By Justin Goodman

Shame on Connecticut legislators for advancing a misguided bill (SB 1153) to exempt the University of Connecticut and other state institutions from the open records law and keep their taxpayer-funded activities in the dark.

Shortly after I arrived as a student at UConn in 2004, I used Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act to expose how the school was performing wasteful and cruel experiments on monkeys. In these taxpayer-funded tests, the primates had holes drilled into their skulls, their brains damaged with acid, and steel coils implanted into their eyeballs before being killed and dissected. (Read More)

Michele Jacklin: Nix these new restraints on Connecticut’s FOI Act – Connecticut Mirror

By Michele Jacklin

The silence has been deafening. Curiously so. As state lawmakers continue to hack away at Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, the response from members of the public and the news media has been confounding passivity.
The curtain is threatening to come down on the state’s groundbreaking law, enacted in 1975, which opened up the inner workings of government — state and municipal — for all to see. The state’s FOIA became the model upon which other states and nations promoted public access and government transparency.
But now Connecticut’s law is in grave danger. Where once there were five explicit exemptions to the FOIA there are now 28 and counting. At least a half-dozen anti-FOIA bills have been approved by legislative committees and are due to be voted upon by the House and the Senate. (Read More)

Committee Approves Bill With Steep Penalties for FOI Violations – CT News Junkie

By Staff Report

Lawmakers advanced five bills Friday out of committee revising the state’s Freedom of Information Act, including one that seeks to improve enforcement by increasing the maximum fine allowed for denial of public records requests from $1,000 to $10,000. (Read More)

Connecticut Hearst papers: Open government laws need enforcement – New Haven Register


The penalties for violating Connecticut’s Freedom of Information laws are far too lenient. They hardly amount to a disincentive, and are in no way a cure for those who flout the statutes.
The General Assembly may be looking to change that. (Read More)

Lawmakers eye higher fines, new enforcement tools, more staff for FOI agency – New Haven Register

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Connecticut’s open records laws may soon get its first overhaul in nearly 40 years.
A key legislative committee is proposing to sharply increase the penalties government agencies face for violating public records regulations and require municipal and state agencies to post information online about their track record of releasing public records. (Read More)

FOI is under attack in Connecticut as never before – Connecticut Post

By Michele Jacklin

In 1975, with the unyielding insistence of then-Gov. Ella T. Grasso, Connecticut lawmakers enacted a groundbreaking freedom of information law, opening up previously secretive state and local governmental operations and providing citizens with seemingly unfettered access to troves of information.
Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was considered so important and worthy of emulation that other states and nations around the world sought to adopt many of its facets. (Read More)

Adventures In ‘Open’ Government: Derby Needs A FOI Refresher – Valley Independent Sentinel

By Eugene Driscoll

DERBY — Derby government needs to take a refresher course about the Freedom of Information Act.

The city also needs to come up with a simple written policy that gives guidance to employees who receive information requests from the public.

They need to do this not because I say so. They need to do this because they promised to do this three years ago.

It is time for Derby government to live up to its word. (Read More)

FOI Commission admonishes municipalities for illegal meetings, illegal fees – Hartford Courant

11/15/18 – By Matthew Kauffman

Shortly after the Bridgeport City Council’s budget committee opened its meeting last May, Councilwoman Jeannette Herron took up the first order of business with a directive to members of the public. (Read More)