As the nation celebrates Sunshine Week, a week highlighting the importance of open government, it is a good time to reflect on lawmakers in Texas who are helping to improve transparency and protect the state's strong Public Information Act.
Topping our list is Corpus Christi's own Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, chairman of the House Calendars Committee, who for years has been a champion of free speech, free press, and transparency. Rep. Hunter was named Open Government Lawmaker of the Year in 2013 by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Among Chairman Hunter's more notable recent transparency successes was his push in the 2013 legislative session to ensure passage of a bill that codifies the fact that if a government official conducts public business on a private communication device or personal account, the communication is still subject to the Public Information Act. That bill also requires contracts between vendors and government entities to include a provision that makes the information created or exchanged in the contract open to the public. Hunter also worked with fellow legislators last year to pass a bill protecting the news media's reporting on whistleblower accusations.
Excerpted from Caller Times. To read the full article, click here.