Transparency in the General Assembly Session
The General Assembly’s annual session kicked off on January 12. Here are some of the bills that are drawing attention thus far.
- Del. Barbara Comstock (R-McLean) has introduced two transparency related bills. One would create a centralized website to allow citizens to search for government documents while the other is a journalist’s shield law.
- Del. Bob Marshall (R-Loudoun) has introduced a bill to require the custodians to public records to designate them as either subject to FOIA or exempt from FOIA at the time of the record’s creation.
- Sen. Steve Martin (R-Chesterfield) has introduced a bill to protect government employees from having their name disclosed with their salary in response to FOIA requests.
- Del. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomack) has introduced a “harassment by FOIA” bill.
- The Republican Party of Virginia has set up a legislative tracking site to keep up with the session. We’ll let you know if Virginia’s Democrats get their act together to come up with a similar site.
- Waldo Jaquith, the guru behind Richmond Sunlight, has a plea to journalists covering the General Assembly: include bill numbers in your coverage.
The Sunlight Foundation and Sunlight Labs launched OpenGovernment.org this week. The site aims to be a state level version of the popular OpenCongress site. Sadly, Virginia isn’t supported yet. Here are a few links on the new site.