By John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island PROVIDENCE – A year ago Rhode Island open government advocates were celebrating a huge milestone. We had won the first large scale reform of our open records law, the Access to Public Records Act since the late 1990s. And while we didn’t get everything we wanted in the bill, […]
BY STEVEN BROWN, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island PROVIDENCE – Last year, after a ten-year struggle by open government groups to get the law updated, the Rhode Island General Assembly enacted some important reforms to the state’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA). Regrettably, this year the legislature appeared to show buyer’s remorse, […]
The moral of the story is this: Chafee did the right thing for Rhode Island and transparency by releasing the report. Sometimes it takes the media, citizens and open-government advocates paying attention to the issues and what is going on beneath the surface to encourage our elected officials to do the right thing. Next time, I hope we will see transparency in the first instance so we have less grist for talk radio, perhaps, but more of a trusting partnership between the government and its people. After all, “trust Chafee” is our governor’s motto. Perhaps we should add to that “trust the people; we can handle the truth.”
NEFAC sponsors “sunshine” sessions March 19 and 27 in R.I. and Conn. on mining information from the public record
The New England First Amendment Coalition joins with other advocacy groups in sponsoring a pair of how-to sessions on March 19 and 27 during which investigative journalists will help you navigate freedom of information laws to find what you need.