Op-Ed: Too few CT lawmakers have signed FOI pledge – The CT Mirror

By: |

 Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, Lt Gov. Nancy Wyman and state Comptroller Kevin Lembo – a card carrying FOI advocate – have signed the Freedom of Information Pledge proffered by the non-profit advocacy group Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.

It took several weeks for Malloy to decide to sign on. Lembo asked immediately, “Where do I sign?”

But too few have.

Only 24 of 187 state legislators (about 12 percent) have signed the pledge, initially issued last October during the election campaign and again last month. None of the top leaders of either house have signed, though some key veteran state senators and representatives have.

Deputy Speaker of the House Peggy Sayers, D-Windsor Locks, understands the history: “Gov. Grasso held this seat when she served as a state representative and it is only fitting that I support her legislation,” said Sayers in signing the FOI pledge.It was Gov. Ella Grasso who proposed and signed Connecticut’s FOI law in 1975. It created a first-in-the-nation Freedom of Information Commission where citizens could put government secrecy on trial. Any cop, selectman, school board, or state agency – any public official except a judge in a court room (though judicial administrative records are subject to the FOI laws ) — could be ordered by the FOI Commission to disclose information a citizen was seeking – unless it fit into a few specific exemptions.

Back then, Democrat Ella Grasso convinced the entire legislature to pass the law, even every Republican with the help of state Senate Majority Leader Lewis Rome, who said, “I think it is landmark legislation . . . and I hope that we would unanimously support the legislation as witness our good intentions and good faith in the idea that government belongs to the people.”

Today, so far four Republicans and 20 Democrats have affixed their signatures. And in the 40 years since the law was adopted, the number of exemptions has exploded. Piecemeal, more and more government records are being kept secret.

So CCFOI, which was founded 60 years ago and worked with Grasso on the original legislation, issued the pledge. It is modeled, in part on the Connecticut Constitution, Article Third, Section 16: The debates of each house shall be public, except on such occasions as in the opinion of the house may require secrecy.

And that is what the pledge asks – to keep debate open and to protect the FOI Commission: “I will support and protect Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, including the independence of the state’s unique Freedom of Information Commission, and oppose weakening it. If proposals are made to limit public access, I will, within my authority, assure such proposals are subjected to public processes, including public hearings, and will support such changes only when the public’s interest in non-access to records or proceedings clearly outweighs the public’s interest in access.”

Four years ago the medical records of Civil War soldiers at Connecticut Valley Hospital and the medical records of the state’s most infamous mass murderer – Amy Archer Gilligan, who poisoned her husband and without a doubt many others at her nursing home 100 years ago – were public. That is until the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services learned that historical researchers were seeking the records. The department moved to shut down the information, never mind that it might shed light on post traumatic stress disorder, or the thinking of a mass murderer.

After failing to get a bill out of committee in the 2011 legislative session, DMHAS managed an essentially secret “Midnight Amendment” – inserted as the 37th section of a 98-section public health bill in 2012. The vast majority of legislators probably did not even know of its existence. No debate, no discussion in a maneuver that does not serve the public good.

Legislators pledging to require debate could blunt these tactics.

Some have said they simply don’t sign pledges, but mostly the FOI Pledge has been met by silence. To be sure state legislators from important cities — Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Middletown, New Haven, Norwalk, Torrington and Waterbury – have signed. It’s also heartening to see so many of the people’s elected representatives stand up for the people’s right to know from smaller towns all over the state — from Chester and Haddam to Stratford to Canton and Barkhamsted to Mansfield and Willington to Southington to Windsor.

Now we need more.

James H. Smith is president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.

433 Replies to “Op-Ed: Too few CT lawmakers have signed FOI pledge – The CT Mirror”

  1. Destructive the whole kit can occur with pay off existent cialis online earlier small of the internet, the centre is necrotizing with discontinuation of the home bring into the world demonstrated acutely over in making the urine gram pigment online. top essay writers Vamdiu xbzvgw

  2. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!|

  3. Taxi moto line
    128 Rue la Boétie
    75008 Paris
    +33 6 51 612 712  

    Taxi moto paris

    For newest information you have to go to see world wide web and
    on the web I found this website as a finest
    website for most up-to-date updates.

  4. Pingback: the feed

  5. Pingback: thefeed

  6. Pingback: the feed

  7. Pingback: thefeed

  8. Pingback: feed

  9. Pingback: solar powered atmospheric water generator

  10. Pingback: superbeets

  11. gidrasajt4af.com представляет из себя магазин, что создан для торговцев серых изделий и сервисов. Подобную продукцию низзя купить в традиционном магазине, поскольку это противоправно.

  12. I really wanted to post a quick note to say thanks to you for the precious solutions you are sharing here. My prolonged internet lookup has finally been paid with professional insight to share with my friends and family. I would point out that most of us visitors are very much lucky to live in a wonderful website with very many wonderful professionals with very helpful tricks. I feel very much privileged to have used your entire website page and look forward to tons of more thrilling times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything. https://bronchitismed.com what antibiotics treat bronchitis

  13. I definitely wanted to jot down a brief message so as to express gratitude to you for all the lovely information you are placing at this website. My incredibly long internet look up has at the end of the day been honored with good facts and strategies to go over with my contacts. I ‘d claim that many of us site visitors actually are rather endowed to dwell in a good network with many lovely individuals with helpful opinions. I feel quite fortunate to have discovered the web pages and look forward to plenty of more cool minutes reading here. Thank you again for a lot of things. https://bronchitismed.com bronchitis drugs over the counter

  14. Pingback: houston junk car buyer

  15. Pingback: junk car buyer

  16. Pingback: theragun review

  17. Dzięki za przydatnych informacji na temat naprawy kredytu na temat twojego sieci -teren. To, co chciałbym zaoferować jako rada ludziom będzie zrezygnować z a mentalności kupią w tej chwili i spłać później. as be a as be a} społeczeństwo {my|my wszyscy|my wszyscy|wielu z nas|większość z nas|większość ludzi} ma tendencję do {robienia tego|robienia tamtego|próbowania tego|zdarzyć się|powtórz to} dla wielu {rzeczy|problemów|czynników}. Obejmuje to {wakacje|wakacje|wypady|wyjazdy wakacyjne|wycieczki|rodzinne wakacje}, meble, {i|jak również|a także|wraz z|oprócz|plus} przedmiotów {chcemy|chcielibyśmy|życzymy|chcielibyśmy|naprawdę chcielibyśmy to mieć}. Jednak {musisz|musisz|powinieneś|powinieneś chcieć|wskazane jest, aby|musisz} oddzielić {swoje|swoje|to|twoje obecne|swoje|osoby} chcą {od wszystkich|z potrzeb|z}. {Kiedy jesteś|Kiedy jesteś|Kiedy jesteś|Jeśli jesteś|Tak długo, jak jesteś|Kiedy} pracujesz, aby {poprawić swój kredyt|poprawić swoją zdolność kredytową|zwiększyć swój kredyt|zwiększyć swój kredyt|podnieś swój ranking kredytowy|popraw swój kredyt} wynik {musisz zrobić|zrobić|faktycznie potrzebujesz|naprawdę musisz} dokonać kilku {poświęceń|kompromisów}. Na przykład {możesz|możesz|możesz|możesz|będziesz mógł|| możesz|prawdopodobnie możesz} robić zakupy online {aby zaoszczędzić pieniądze|aby zaoszczędzić pieniądze|aby zaoszczędzić} lub {możesz przejść do|może się zwrócić|może odwiedzić|może obejrzeć|może sprawdzić|może kliknąć} używane {sklepy|sklepy|detaliści|sprzedawcy|punkty sprzedaży|dostawcy} zamiast {drogie|drogie|drogie|drogie|drogie|drogich} domów towarowych {dla|w odniesieniu do|dotyczących|odnoszących się do|przeznaczonych dla|do zdobycia} odzieży {strzykawki insulinowe 1ml|strzykawki tuberkulinowe|strzykawki|strzykawka|strzykawki insulinowe|strzykawki do insuliny|strzykawki trzyczęściowe tuberkulinowe|strzykawka tuberkulinowa|strzykawka insulinowa|strzykawka do insuliny|strzykawka trzyczęściowe tuberkulinowa} {strzykawki insulinowe 1ml|strzykawki tuberkulinowe|strzykawki|strzykawka|strzykawki insulinowe|strzykawki do insuliny|strzykawki trzyczęściowe tuberkulinowe|strzykawka tuberkulinowa|strzykawka insulinowa|strzykawka do insuliny|strzykawka trzyczęściowe tuberkulinowa}.

  18. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  19. Can entrancing prenatal clomid refrain from you conceive? Fascinating a prenatal vitamin, in in to eating fruits, vegetables, poverty-stricken meat and unscathed grains, can arrogate you get your congress robust and ready to conceive. On this saneness, myriad doctors imply irresistible prenatal Clomid conclusively you start trying seeking a baby.

  20. Good day very cool site!! Guуy .. Exϲellent .. Amazing ..
    I’ll ƅookmark youг websaite and take the feeds
    additionally? I am satisfied to ѕeаrch out numerous һelρfᥙl
    information riht here in the submit, we want develop exyra techniquеs oon this reցarԁ, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . .

    Alsoo visit my web-site … payday loans salem oregon