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Featured

Will Hawaii Legislature reverse Ige’s suspension of the Public Records Law?

The Hawaii law granting public access to government records has been suspended for 293 days as of Monday [Jan. 4] under one of dozens of executive orders that Gov. David Ige issued at the start of the pandemic.

The move was not popular among state lawmakers and there is no indication of when the governor might lift his order.

Some lawmakers have said it may come up as part of a broader effort by the Legislature to examine the governor’s emergency powers. At least one state on the mainland took that step and forced public agencies to comply with the records law even during times of emergency.

Read More | Honolulu Civil Beat 

Legislation

Michigan's Governor signs domestic violence victim confidentiality law

Michigan survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families will have an added level of privacy through a confidentiality measure signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The act, which had bipartisan support, allows victims of crimes and their children to apply for identification numbers and substitute addresses with assigned post boxes for the state to mail state documents and items such as driver’s licenses. Those who apply to be a part of the program will be sent new state ID cards with a state post office box listed so participants’ residential addresses are not listed.

A participant’s program ID number will be listed instead of an address in the state’s Qualified Voter File and their address will be protected from Freedom of Information Act requests.

Read MoreThe Detroit News

GovTech released their list of 2021 GovTech 100 Companies…

And for the 6th consecutive year, and since the list’s inception, GovQA made the list!

Litigation

American Civil Liberties Union claims victory, settles suit with St. Paul over police data

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota said [Jan. 5] that it has settled a lawsuit against the city of St. Paul now that it is receiving data on arrests, use of force and other actions by police.

The suit, filed in Ramsey County District Court in December 2019, alleged that the city had “unlawfully refused” to provide public information regarding traffic stops, citations, arrests and use of force dating back to at least June 2018.

The ACLU said that its lawsuit led to the city forming the Investigative Stop Working Group late last year, which is moving toward collecting, tracking and sharing investigative stop data.

Read More | The Star Tribune

Florida agrees to settle Orlando Sentinel lawsuit over COVID reports

[Florida] has agreed to settle Orlando Sentinel’s lawsuit, which stemmed from unreasonable delays by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office in providing the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports to the newspaper.

As part of the settlement, the state has agreed to release the future weekly task force reports within two business days and pay $7,500 in attorney fees.

Read More | Orlando Sentinel

Peer Resources

Innovation in Compliance - GovQA's Evangelist discusses document governance with Tom Fox

GovQA’s Chief Evangelist, Jen Snyder, joins Tom Fox to discuss the compliance challenges facing governments, and how GovQA’s Public Record Exchange Software is helping combat those challenges.

Listen to the Podcast.

Read More | JDSupra

The Peers in Public Records Newsletter (formerly FOIA News) is a bi-monthly e-newsletter brought to you by GovQA. It is a collection of the latest trends in public record requests and government transparency initiatives, shared stories, informative case studies, and actionable knowledge that will help you calm the chaos and keep your organization compliant. Send your comments to peers@govqa.com.

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