Current Open Government Legislation in Rhode Island Senate

  Bill  Sponsor Title Description 68   Archambault, Conley, Lombardi, Morgan, Lombardo   AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC RECORDS – ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS   Revises access to public records charter re: definitions of public body public record, right to inspect, copy records, arrest logs, compliance, costs, court jurisdiction, remedies, claims settlement, violations (ACCESS/RI bill) […]

Freedom of Expression and the Beast of Vermont

By Gregory Sanford In a dangerous world the president and his party, which controlled both houses of Congress, feared that an influx of immigrants posed a threat to the country. As one member of Congress warned, “The times are full of danger and it would be the height of madness not to take every precaution.” […]

Let the Sun Shine In

By Jim Condos | Vermont Secretary of State An open government makes for a better government. Next week is Sunshine Week, and it will be celebrated all across the nation. In reality, it should be celebrated every week in Vermont and every other state. Here at the Secretary of State’s Office, our operations assume 625,000 Vermonters are looking over […]

Enemy of the American People? Undermining a Free Press

By Edward Fitzpatrick | Roger Williams University The Trump Administration appears to be springing more leaks than the Oroville Dam spillway. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, the public would be drowning in the cascade of “alternative facts” pouring from the White House. Already, the leaks have produced concrete results. For example, Rhode Island’s own […]

Parties Agree to Dismiss VTDigger’s Public Records Lawsuit After State Releases Records

By Lia Ernst | ACLU of Vermont The State of Vermont recently released a cache of public records related to the state’s participation in the EB-5 visa program after VTDigger, represented by the ACLU of Vermont and Timothy Cornell of Cornell Dolan, P.C., sued for their release. VTDigger’s lawsuit alleged the state improperly withheld the records […]

Several Bills Aim to Improve New Hampshire Right to Know Law Enforcement, Compliance

By David Saad | Right to Know New Hampshire Our government belongs to us. Part I Article 8 of the New Hampshire Constitution articulates the citizen’s right to know what its government is doing. This right is further codified in the state’s Right to Know Law. Yes, citizens have the right to know what their government is […]

Trump’s Order Violates Bedrock Principles of First Amendment, Religious Liberty

By Jared A. Goldstein | Roger Williams University School of Law President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 27 that violates the bedrock principles upon which Roger Williams founded Rhode Island. I’ve always been proud to work at a university named for Roger Williams, whose commitment to religious liberty for all peoples formed […]

A Win for Open Records That Wasn’t

By Steven Brown | ACLU of Rhode Island This should be a happy Access to Public Records Act story, but — spoiler alert — it’s not. Valley Breeze reporter Ethan Shorey filed an APRA complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General when the City of Pawtucket refused to provide him a list of vacant and […]

Moguls and the Media

By David A. Logan | Roger Williams University School of Law Among President-elect Donald Trump’s many ill-informed campaign statements was that he was “going to open up libel laws.” Where to begin? First, libel law was, and remains, state law. Second, while federal legislation does impact pockets of libel law (most notably, the Communications Decency Act […]

Massachusetts Has A New Public Records Law — Now What?

By Robert A. Bertsche and Jeffrey Pyle This New Year’s Day, journalists in Massachusetts can look forward to more than just a hangover: They’ll have a new public records law to try out. Like a night of epic carousing, the “Act to Improve Public Records,” which goes into effect January 1, has upsides and downsides. […]