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Legislative updates – 2015

April 7, 2015

This page will be updated periodically with the status of bills currently in the General Assembly that could affect government transparency. The General Assembly has created seven new records exemptions so far. 

Court of Appeals hears case on closed meeting minutes

April 6, 2015

A three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday in a public records dispute over minutes of closed sessions held by the Alamance-Burlington School System Board of Education. The board has declined to release un-redacted minutes of closed sessions for personnel purposes when it met to discuss the departure and $200,000 severance package of former Superintendent Lillie Cox. The Times-News filed a lawsuit to gain access. 

Filing deadline leads to flurry of bills affecting transparency

March 27, 2015

More than a dozen bills introduced in the final hours before Thursday's filing deadline would affect transparency in North Carolina. They include eight new records exemptions, a pair of new transparency initiatives, several clarifications on who is subject to the public records law and a special rule that allows law enforcement personnel to have certain personal information removed form government websites. 

Senate bill would substantially change records law

March 27, 2015

A bill filed Thursday in the Senate would limit the right of access created by the Public Records Act to "citizens" of North Carolina. The law currently allows access for "any person" regardless of whether they are state residents. 

Civitas files public records lawsuit against Alamance Board of Elections

March 27, 2015

The Civitas Institute filed a public records lawsuit this week against the Alamance County Board of Elections after the county attorney insisted that a representative of the group inspect records in person before copies would be made. The lawsuit raises the question of whether a government agency putting additional conditions on a records request prior to fulfilling it amounts to a refusal. 

Sunshine Week daily news roundup – Thursday, March 19

March 19, 2015

The results of a multi-newsroom public records audit are in. Led by WRAL's public records team, six news outlets asked state and local government officials for the same documents to see how quickly different agencies complied. Also, the NFL files a lawsuit against court officials to get access to records in Greg Hardy case.

Sunshine Week daily news roundup – Wednesday March 18

March 18, 2015

Today's Sunshine Week news includes a Salisbury Post look at closed sessions, a WRAL story on how to obtain military records, a pair of Q&A sessions with N.C. Open Government Coalition director Jonathan Jones and StarNews Executive Editor Pam Sander explaining the importance of records requests to the newspaper. 

Sunshine Week news roundup – Tuesday, March 17

March 17, 2015

Sunshine Week is well underway, events are happening across the state, and media outlets are publishing stories that highlight "your right to know" how government is working. Today's coverage leads off with several stories about Sunshine Day in Durham and a look at using LobbyGuard machines to screen who enters a public meeting. And The Gaston Gazette has an open government quiz.