Two items of interest on open government

As I mention over on my Media Law blog, I am in Washington, D.C., today for a conference on legislative matters of interest to newspapers, where I picked up two noteworthy tidbits on Web resources.

First, after hearing U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speak today about the FOIA bills he cosponsors with U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), I went to his Web site and found that he has a page devoted to these bills. It pulls together the texts of the bills, press releases, analysis, testimony and commentary. These are important bills for strengthening open government and this is a useful resource for understanding and tracking these bills.

Second, an invaluable resource for lawyers, journalists and the public is Tapping Officials’ Secrets, a state-by-state guide to open records and open meetings laws published by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The current edition was published in 2001, so it was welcome news to hear today from Lucy Dalglish, RCFP executive director, that a new edition is in the works and will be out in January.