Last week Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie submitted Amendment #3 to SB 2799 to restrict your right to preliminary documents cited by the Chair of a governing body during an open meeting. In fact, they want to restrict your right to even FACTUAL information that is not considered deliberative. (More detail about the changes it makes to FOIA are below.)
The House Executive Committee will be voting on whether or not to add this amendment at 4 p.m. TODAY and need to hear from you IMMEDIATELY. Please call as many of the House Executive Committee Members as you can to URGE THEM TO VOTE NO on attaching Amendment #3 to SB 2799.
Amendment #3 is not related to the content of the bill. It is a FOIA amendment that severely limits transparency and public participation in the following ways:
- When a government official publicly cites a report or study, the entire report is currently subject to public records requests. Under this bill, only the specific section cited would be open to disclosure. This limits the public's ability to see supporting documentation, methodology, and possibly conflicting findings in a document being cited in government decision making.
- The bill would allow government bodies to withhold documents that are primarily factual so long as they include at least one recommendation.
- The bill would significantly curtail a citizen's ability to win legal fees from a government body when they violate FOIA. This would significantly limit the public's ability to hold government bodies accountable when they illegally withhold public documents.