Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
Minutes, Feb. 18, 2015
The meeting was at Wood-N-Tap, 99 Sisson Ave., Hartford.
Present: Jim Smith, Morgan McGinley, George Lombardi, Michele Jacklin, Mitch Pearlman, Tom Scheffey, Mary Connolly, Paula Pearlman, Dan Klau, Dick Ahles.
The minutes of the Jan. 21, 2015 meeting were accepted.
Treasurer’s report: Lombardi reported a balance of $10,107.03. He distributed a list of members who have paid their 2015 dues. The list includes Hersam-Acorn Newspapers, Willimantic Chronicle, Journal Inquirer, Connecticut Broadcasters Association, News 12 Connecticut, WTIC and the Waterbury Republican-American.
Legislative report: Smith reported on testimony before the Government, Administration and Elections Committee regarding legislation that would expand the requirements for disclosure of arrest records. This is in response to a Supreme Court ruling that current law doesn’t require the release of more than basic information on arrests.
CCFOI also supported legislation to expand the length of FOI Commission terms from two years to four years, citing the need to build experience. It opposed legislation that would prohibit Internet publication of voter information, citing the First Amendment.
Smith said the legislature will not act on the CCFOI-backed proposal to allow public access to historical records, such as mental health records. A case on this issue is pending before the Supreme Court. It is not yet clear what will happen with proposals to bring the University of Connecticut Foundation under the FOI Act.
Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be March 18, 2015 at noon at Wood-N-Tap.