Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
Minutes, Jan. 21, 2015
The meeting was at Wood-N-Tap, 99 Sisson Ave., Hartford.
The minutes of the Dec. 17, 2014 meeting were accepted.
Present: Jim Smith, Chris VanDeHoef, Glenn Richter, Ron Robillard, George Lombardi, Mitch Pearlman, Dick Ahles, Mary Schwind, Mary Connolly, Michele Jacklin, Morgan McGinley, Chris Powell.
Treasurer’s report: Lombardi said the current balance is $9,487.03, down from $14,514.21 at the start of the fiscal year in July. Second notices on dues were sent Jan. 20, with a note from Smith.
FOI Pledge: It was sent to legislators and a press release was distributed. Results have been posted on our website. As we hear or don’t hear from legislators, results will be announced.
Legislative update: VanDeHoef reported on a meeting with Sen. Steve Cassano and Rep. Ed Jutila, the chairs of the Government, Administration and Elections Committee. They were supportive of our effort to allow public access to historical records, such as mental health records of Civil War veterans and notorious murderers like Amy Archer-Gilligan (the inspiration for Arsenic and Old Lace). The opposition of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services remains a problem.
In addition to the proposal on historical records, CCFOI’s 2015 legislative agenda will include a response to the Supreme Court ruling that current law doesn’t require local and state police to release more than basic information on arrests. Applying the FOI law to the UConn Foundation also has been put on the agenda. Some legislators have recently voiced support for this.
Prior restraint case: CCFOI put together a coalition of media organizations to support the Connecticut Law Tribune’s appeal of an order by Superior Court Judge Stephen Frazzini not to publish an article on a child protection dispute. Frazzini later lifted his order, but the appeal is still pending before the Supreme Court.
Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Feb. 18, 2015 at noon at Wood-N-Tap.