Laura Prather in Texas Tribune: Texas Lawmakers Hoping to Plug Loopholes Keeping Gov't Contracts Secret

01/05/2017

A pair of Texas lawmakers have filed legislation aiming to plug what they called major “loopholes” in public records law that have left taxpayers in the dark about key details of some contracts involving public funds...

In March 2015, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Greater Houston Partnership, which received some public funds, could withhold details of contracts for economic services because it was not entirely dependent on public funds. In doing so, it narrowed the definition of groups subject to open records law.

The lawmakers said they had sought input from a variety of groups in crafting their legislation, including those who work on First Amendment issues, the Texas Municipal League and Texas Association of Counties.

Laura Prather, a First Amendment attorney and a Texas Freedom of Information Foundation board member, said her group was “pleased” with the new legislation. “Texans need to know who the government is making deals with and how the money is being spent,” she said.

Excerpted from the Texas Tribune. To read the full article, please click here. 

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