The new year is in full-swing, and public records advocates are getting ready for another year of FOIA and state records law fun. The end of the year usually marks an eventful time full of joy, rest, and relaxation. Yet some jurisdictions decided to make some changes at the eleventh hour, both for the better and the worse. But don’t worry, we compiled a list of FOIA related changes that happened over the holidays so you don’t miss a thing.
Documents responsive to a request by Tom Nash shed light on a proposed conversion therapy ban in Virginia that failed last January. The documents include emails between experts and Doctor David Brown, Director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions, regarding a conversion therapy “workgroup” convened by Brown in October 2018, and a pair of bills, SB 245 and HB 363, seeking to ban the practice.
At both the federal and state level, requesters filing for similar documents may encounter additional barriers in the form of so called “vexatious requester” laws.
Six state Departments of Correction have responded to our requests for post-incarceration employment data
Last week, MuckRock submitted requests for any policies and materials these agencies might have related to the post-incarceration opportunities. So far, the responses can’t speak to the question, because most Departments of Correction don’t keep the data.
Last month, Governor of Hawaii David Ige signed a bill into law preventing state-licensed medical professionals from performing sexual orientation or gender identity conversion therapy on anyone under 18, making the state the 12th so far to implement a ban.