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Posts Tagged ‘legislature’

Unpublic records

In First Amendment on May 4, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Many thanks to Christianna Silva at the University of Arizona for this report on the state of public records in her state. Sadly, it won’t surprise anyone engaged in the daily struggle to pry public records from public agencies.

Here’s her lede:

PHOENIX – More than a month ago, 19 Arizona agencies were given simple public record requests seeking data on the numbers of those requests those agencies received in 2015 and 2016. Less than half responded.

Of the 19 agencies requested, nine responded, three on the same day it was sent.

Only one agency — Arizona Attorney General’s Office — provided everything requested. Officials there explained they did so because their response was required by law.

So to recap, only one of 19 public agencies in Arizona followed the law when given a very simple public records request. Most didn’t even acknowledge the request, even though it came from someone at the state’s flagship university and not some trouble-making news organization.

If ever there was cause for alarm in the populace, here it is. Again, from Christianna’s terrific piece. … Read the rest of this entry »

You don’t have to be an ass

In First Amendment on June 11, 2015 at 4:12 pm
This is Hanna, drinking an entire pot of coffee, which is awesome.

This is Hanna, drinking an entire pot of coffee, which is awesome.

I hereby nominate Associated Press Kansas statehouse reporter John Hanna for reporter of the year. His nomination comes not as a result of anything he’s written exactly, but by virtue of the quiet dignity he brings the profession and, well, this great thing he did the other day.

He happened to pass a closed door in the statehouse the other day and noticed through the window that the governor’s budget director was meeting with 27 Republican lawmakers. So he walked in, crossed his arms and waited. One lawmaker told him to get out, that he wasn’t invited. He stood his ground until the state’s budget committee chairman said he could stay.

From the story about the incident in The National Journal:

… In doing so, he learned that (the governor) was threatening to lay off prison guards, cut aid to public schools and reduce payments to health care providers and nursing homes if legislators didn’t agree to increase taxes. This is information the public needed to know in time to influence the debate — and to better understand the impact of (Gov. Sam) Brownback’s short-sighted decisions. …
Read the rest of this entry »