Are Texas Open Government Laws Being Misused Amid The COVID-19 Crisis?
Public access to government records, meetings and offices has been largely restricted or shut down for months due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Some governments have pointed to a provision in the law allowing “catastrophe notices” which postpone public information request responses in the event of a public crisis such as a hurricane, flood or epidemic.
What's at stake if public access to government records remains restricted? Who does it affect?
Is there a way to responsibly use the catastrophe provision? What evidence do we have of misuse?
What can be done to shore up Texas' Public Information and Open Meetings acts and ensure government accountability?
- Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas
- James Quintero, policy director of the Government for the People campaign at the Texas Public Policy Foundation
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, November 11.