5/07/2007

Breaking News Coming Here Today!

3 comments:

gspalding said...

We will be waiting!

Sal Costello said...

Double checking a couple things...2 great stories coming!

1 Monday and 2nd one Tuesday...shocking stuff!

Sal
: )

Sal Costello said...

EMAIL FROM LINDA:

Dear Friends and Members:

A bad bill on open records by Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), making it much more difficult to obtain public information, has slipped by in the State Senate, and is going to be taken up on Monday in the House State Affairs Committee.� Please call or email the representatives listed below, after reading this full email.� Thanks to Sarah Baker, from Save Our Springs, for this information.

I am on the phone, right now, calling newspaper editors across Texas to alert them.� Feel free to do the same to your local papers -- but make sure you call and/or email the legislators on the committee, listed below.

Watch your emails next week on a potential veto by Rick Perry of our moratorium bill.� No one really knows, but, if he dares, there will be hell to pay across the great state of Texas.� So watch your emails and be prepared!

We can still use your help at the polls in DFW on Saturday, May 12th, anytime from 7 am to 7 pm.� We will be pulling for our candidates and gathering signatures on the Trinity Vote petition (details on our front page).

We're working on details for the state conference on June 9-10 -- so keep an eye out in the next few days.�

Independently yours,

Linda Curtis
Independent Texans
http://indytexans.org
P. O. Box 14294
Austin, TX 78761
817-921-2417 DFW
512-535-0989 Austin
512-657-2089 cell

Wentworth's bad public information bill, SB 889, will be heard in House State Affairs Committee on Monday.�

SB 889 COSTS THE PUBLIC OUT OF THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT�
SB 889 by Senator Wentworth dramatically restricts the public�s ability to access their own public information. This bill increases the financial costs to the public for accessing public information by allowing agencies to charge just for inspecting information, in addition to copying it, and capping the number of �free� pages that may be viewed at 100 per month. This bill will quash efforts by non-profits, advocacy groups, citizens, and journalists to report on and influence government activities.�

Contact the House State Affairs committee and tell then you oppose SB 889 because it restricts democracy and open government.
Chair: Rep. David Swinford, David.Swinford@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0470
Vice Chair: Rep. Ken Paxton, Ken.Paxton@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0356�������
Budget & Oversight Chair: Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale, Corbin.VanArsdale@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0661��
Members:�
Rep. Wayne Christian, Wayne.Christian@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0556�
Rep. Byron Cook, Byron.Cook@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463, 0730
Rep. Jessica Farrar, Jessica.Farrar@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0620���
Rep. Dan Flynn, Dan.Flynn@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0880
Rep. Tan Parker, Tan.Parker@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0688
Rep. Marc Veasey, Marc.Veasey@house.state.tx.us, (512) 463-0716

WHAT THE BILL DOES:
Section 1. Charges accrue for over 100 pages of information. This is an increase from 50 pages under current law, BUT once you are provided the 100 pages, then on another request in same calendar month, charges accrued for cost of materials, overhead, photocopies, and any other cost or expense actually incurred in locating, compiling, and photocopying the public information to comply with the request or provide the copies. Under current law, 50 �free� pages are per request, regardless of number of requests made in any given timeframe.�


Section 3: Allows agencies to require deposit or bond just to inspect records (regardless of number of pages), additional charges for copying. This changes current law that assesses costs only for copying records.�


CONSEQUENCES:
--Timely access to public information is critical to public participation in decision-making. Raising money to fund viewing and copying information prevents informed public input.��


--For requestors, there is usually no way to know how many pages of information an agency has that respond to your request, so it is almost impossible to write a request to avoid being charged.�


--Even large agencies like TxDOT or TCEQ, with many different divisions will be able to charge for requests to different divisions in the same month.


--If the agency mis-interprets the request and provides the wrong information, the requestor will then have to pay to see the correct information on a second request.


--Because agencies could require deposit or bond just for inspecting information, agencies can scare requestors off with large cost estimates.


This bill was written to respond to a few �harassing� requestors, but has far-reaching consequences that undercut open government and democracy in Texas!