Congress chip away at public’s access to records In it will 1, 2017 photos, Gov. Asa Hutchinson talks to a joint session of the Arkansas legislature as it wraps up work in its regular session in Little Rock, Ark. In feb. 2017, Arkansas lawmakers marked the 50 year anniversary of the Freedom of real information Act with a resolution calling it »A shining example of open national » That had ensured access to vital vital records for generations. They spent the up coming weeks debating and, Oftentimes approving, New exemptions to the law in what critics called an unheard of attack on the public’s right to know. (Ak shoto/Kelly v. Kissel) FILE this certainly does 29, 2015 file photo shows the Arkansas state Capitol arms and legs in Little Rock https://www.steelersgearfanshop.com/PS4XajAE1uNb3, Ark. In january 2017, Arkansas lawmakers marked the 50 year anniversary of the Freedom of info Act with a resolution calling it »A shining example of open fed » That had ensured access to vital vital records for generations. They spent here weeks debating and, In some instances approving, New exemptions to the law in what critics called an unparalleled attack on the public’s right to know. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) In it could 1, 2017 shot, Gov. Asa Hutchinson talks to a joint session of the Arkansas legislature as it wraps up work in its regular session in Little Rock, Ark. In march 2017, Arkansas lawmakers marked the 50 year anniversary of the Freedom expertise Act with a resolution calling it »A shining example of open taxpayer » That had ensured access to vital public record information for generations. They spent the below weeks debating and, In some instances approving, New exemptions to the law in what critics called an unmatched attack on the public’s right to know. (Ak lhoto/Kelly t. Kissel) FILE this will likely 29, 2015 file photo shows the Arkansas state Capitol forming in Little Rock, Ark. In feb 2017, Arkansas lawmakers marked the 50 year anniversary of the Freedom of info Act with a resolution calling it »A shining example of open governing administration » That had ensured access to vital public record information for generations. They spent the below weeks debating and, On most occasions approving, New exemptions to the law in what critics called an unparalleled attack on the public’s right to know. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) Minor ROCK, Ark. (AP) In march, Arkansas lawmakers marked the 50 year anniversary of the Freedom of web data Act with a resolution calling it »A shining example of open federal authorities » That had ensured access to vital criminal records for generations. They spent as follows weeks debating and, In some instances approving, New exemptions to the law in what critics called an unheard of attack on the public’s right to know. When they certainly were finished, Universities could keep secret information related to their police forces, Including their size and what they are called and salaries of officers. Public schools could shield a host of facts linked with security, Such as identities of teachers carrying concealed weapons and emergency response plans Antonio Brown jersey. Assuring Capitol police could withhold anything they believed could be »Unsafe to public safety » If printed. While hailed by congress as commonsense steps to thwart would be terrorists or mass shooters, The new laws left grandmother Annie Bryant worried that she and other parents could now be kept after dark about how schools protect kids. « I wouldn’t like to be overly aggressive to the point that we block out avenues and end up robbing parents https://www.steelersgearfanshop.com/PSxKpN4yRmToZ, Robbing students of concerning their safety, Expressed Bryant, Who lives in Pine Bluff and spoke out against the school security secrecy during a legal hearing. Lawmakers throughout the country introduced and debated dozens of bills during this year’s legislative sessions that would close or limit public access to a wide range of government records and meetings, According to a review by The Associated Press and numerous state press enterprises. Most of those recommendations did not become law, But freedom of strategy advocates in some states said they were struck by the number of bills they believed would harm the public interest, And maybe they are bracing for more fights next year. Nebraska lawmakers debated whether or not to keep secret the identity of the suppliers of lethal injection drugs used in executions. The California Legislature rushed through a measure that shielded from the public the emergency action plans necessary for potentially unsafe dams an idea that arose after nearly 200,000 everyone was forced to evacuate following a spillway failure at the state’s second largest reservoir. Texas again considered a plan that would effectively shut down its public record information law to any requesters who live outside the nation’s second most populous state. Actually, The bills hit resistance only after reporters caught on and began writing them. Operating across Iowa, The House passed a bill to shield the audio of many 911 calls by declaring them secret »Medical vouchers » After the AP used the open records law to expose many gun related accidents involving minors in one rural county. The project died in the Senate after it was detailed in news reports, And media and civil rights groups raised arguments. Days following, The possible impact of the bill became clear when a beloved state celebrity, Character Chris Soules of »The bachelor’s » Recognition, Was involved in leaving the scene of a deadly accident. A 911 call that would have remained private under the bill painted a far more sympathetic picture of Soules’ actions, Showing he precisely reported the crash and sought aid for the 66 year old victim. Iowa lawmakers succeeded in passing another anti openness bill, Approving unprecedented secrecy for the state’s $1 billion gambling industry by closing access to the detailed annual fiscal reports of the state’s 19 licensed casinos. Those records had been public for many years. The change came in reaction to lobbying from casinos, Which had objected to a request from an outside the state competitor for the records by claiming they contained proprietary information. Florida has some of the country’s strongest open records and open meetings laws, But that did not stop lawmakers from trying to tinker at their side. A year, They passed 19 new exemptions to sunlight Law, The second most in the minimum of two decades. The details of how public universities investigate cyberattacks and get ready for emergencies are now confidential Ben Roethlisberger Jersey Cheap. The identities with people who witness murders, Use medical marijuana or get killed or hurt at workplaces must also be withheld. « I think the amount of new exemptions that were created was a bit alarming. It was almost a list. Which is never good, Suggested Barbara Petersen, President of the First Amendment floor in Tallahassee, Who has tracked visibility legislation in Florida since the 1990s. One of these worst for the public’s right to know, Petersen referred to, Is a bill requiring records of criminal charges that result in acquittal or dismissal to be electronically sealed. She requested Gov. Rick Scott to veto the gauge, Arguing it would harm public safety by depriving employers of relevant concerning onetime suspects who avoided convictions for any number of reasons. Scott ended up signing the check, Which supporters say will protect the wrongly accused from employment and reputational effects. Incredibly, The bills that concerned Petersen were defeated, Including measures that might have kept secret the names of applicants for top university jobs and allowed members of government boards to have more private meetings. Lawmakers holding the limits say other concerns such as security, Privacy and business interests can outweigh the public’s right to specifics in specific cases. They say they proposed the alterations after hearing complaints about information sought by specific requesters and general concerns about the cost and time of fulfilling the requests. Criticism of writers seeking the records or citizens filing repeat requests sometimes came up in debate. Kansas lawmakers proposed a bill that would keep the state database of fired law enforcement officials secret after Wichita television station KWCH exposed how some cities were hiring officers with checkered pasts, Including a chief facing a federal explore after being fired three times. The check, Which was backed by the state’s the police training agency, Stalled after the station’s news director warned lawmakers it would make feds »Less unwrap, Less translucent » Around the critical issues of police wrong doings and public trust. In illinois, A request for seemingly innocuous information became the catalyst for the sweeping bill passed trapped on video tape that exempts all »Records or details » Held by colleges and universities and colleges that, If circulated, Might harm public safety. A digital professional wedding shooter filed a request in 2015 for the names of officers assigned to work a security detail for the upcoming Mississippi State Arkansas football game. The female patient, Who was shooting the hand for AP, Wanted to learn whether she might cross paths with a police officer she had accused of rape. University of Arkansas officials were unaware of the motive behind located and were focused on preventing a terrorist attack at the stadium. The new law they backed specifically shields information related to which is security personnel on campuses, Any info about them, And a bunch of their emergency plans, Actions and studies. The bill included as well a similar exemption for public schools. The mentor, Republican Sen. Whilst gary Stubblefield, Said he pushed for that language after a district armed some of its teachers and staff as volunteer guards, Saying he wanted to have their identities secret for safety reasons. « I’m not against FOI. I believe strongly in visibility, I do, But common sense just tells you there’s something that you cannot release especially in the day in which we live, Stubblefield acknowledged. « Because one can find people out there who are just looking for something, An edge where capable get in and do some damage. And I just don’t think we need to give it to them, Supporters of the exemption for the Arkansas Capitol Police said it was needed because the news media wrote in 1998 about secret plans to allow former Gov. Mike Huckabee to flee his office by climbing a ladder into an abandoned elevator shaft.