This week’s FOIA round-up: Trump official pressed NASA to deny climate science, documents show Mexican concessions predated tariff threats, and Chicago Police sergeant under investigation had record
In this week’s FOIA round-up, an email exchange between two White House officials and National Aeronautics and Space Administration head Jim Ridenstine show the administration asked NASA to “systematically sidestep” the “nonsense” of man-made climate change, documents reveal that Mexico had already planned immigration concessions months before tariff threat, and records show Chicago Police sergeant under investgation for alleged sexual assault had previously been reccomended for firing are investigating a transgender woman’s sexual assault claim against one of their own sergents.
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!
Recently released records show Portland Police Bureau targeted counter-protesters, ignored armed alt-right demonstrators at “Patriot Prayer” rally
A rally held in Portland, Oregon last August by the far-right group Patriot Prayer turned violent after Portland Police Bureau began cracking down on counter-protesters with flash grenades and pepper spray. Newly released communication logs from that day show that while the PPB were aware of a much greater threat posed by “patriot” camp - which included many armed demonstrators, some with criminal charges and violent histories - they still chose to target the counter-protesters, leaving many injured.
In order to get a better sense of what’s truly going on with public records laws, we decided to take a look at data from over 2,600 agencies in MuckRock’s API. The numbers show the staggering differences in state and local average response times as well as the number of requests filed and completed in those states.
As Sunshine Week draws to a close, state legislatures are set to review a number of records bills across the nation
As we wrap up Sunshine Week 2019, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of transparency bills currently making the rounds throughout state houses and senates.