The state of state public records laws continues to evolve as lawmakers discuss new legislation, court rulings clarify ambiguities in records law, and advocates press for better access. To get a sense of what’s happening, we’ve compiled a list of recent changes to access all across the country. If we missed news in your state, let us know by filling out the form below!
This week’s FOIA round-up: DOJ seals evidence of Border Patrol targeting volunteers, New Mexico’s settlements get pricey, and Parkland parents get stonewalled
For this week’s FOIA round-up, records show the Justice Department motioned to seal text messages implicating Border Patrol’s deliberate targeting of a humanitarian group, and New Mexico settled almost $5 million in legal claims. Also, parents of two victims in the Parkland shooting are being prevented from getting public records about the massacre.
MuckRock asked all 50 states for a copy of the data frame that they use to track pregnancy-related deaths, in order to figure out if every department is using a similar system, or even tracking the same information. Spoiler alert: they’re all doing their own thing.
Using public records to explore an AI religion, Wall Street’s secretive work for states, and a parking ticket near you
“Follow the money” is great on paper but can often feel tedious in real life, but this week there were a number of great examples showing how following a paper trail, whether documents regarding the incorporation of a religion or a parking ticket database, can lead to interesting stories.
A year ago, the New Mexico Department of Corrections tried to change private operators for its sex offender population. Soon after, citizens stepped up to say no.