By SPJ | November 14th, 2011
Win: After proposing a controversial rule change that would allow government agencies to deny the existence of national security documents, last Thursday the Department of Justice withdrew its proposal.
Potential Fail: The Tennessee County Commissioners Association is pushing county governments across the state to adopt a law that would allow elected officials to meet in private, as long as the group does not meet quorum. Bob Barnwell, president of the Association and Williamson County Commissioner, has toured the state urging local governments to adopt the law. He claims the Sunshine Law, which requires government meetings of more than two officials to be announced and open to the public, is overly burdensome. The current Sunshine Law applies to county commissioners but not to the state General Assembly, according to The Tennessean.
Win: Detroit citizens achieved a victory in open government Nov. 8 by approving a new city charter. Loopholes have been closed and the representative structure has been reworked, including new citizen advisory councils and anti-corruption measures. Read about the changes from Michigan Radio.
Abby Henkel is SPJ’s communications coordinator and a 2011 graduate of Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs master’s program. Reach her at email@example.com.