There’s a new bill in the works today 9/12/23 that would amend the FOIA, our honored Sunshine Law. The outcome of our nation’s best Sunshine Law will be determined during this special session called by the Arkansas Governor.
You may know that HB1003 and SB7 were introduced on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, and they were referred to their State Agencies committees. The legislature received a lot of public comment and backlash because We the People DO NOT want the FOIA adjusted in any way.
Then two NEW bills, SB9 and HB1009, were introduced in the Senate and House VERY LATE that same evening and referred to the State Agencies committees. Check the bill history and the status of SB9 here and HB1009 here.
These new bills still allow government officials to be able to block an enormous amount of government records! Too many things will be hidden.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported:
Specifically, the bill would exempt “records reflecting communications between the governor or his or her staff and the secretary of a cabinet- level department”.
If Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders thinks she’s going to waltz into office and block all of the records reflecting her office or her staff, we’re not going to allow it. That’s a cover-up!… We, the people, do NOT want our state government acting secretively.
Legislators, please VOTE NO on these newly proposed malicious FOIA bills. The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the People’s Law and absolutely does NOT need to be changed… in any way, shape, or form!
ATTENTION! It’s deceptive and a sham. Read this: Section 4 Paragraph (30) says government needs a credible threat of litigation for attorney-client exemption, BUT Section 4 (31) says all “502(b)” material is exempt even WITHOUT threat of litigation.
And the attorney’s fees section is unchanged. No longer does the loser pay. In a lawsuit, the public will be the losers.
Sanders said, “The proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act would put Arkansas in line with the federal government and states such as California, New York, Alabama, and Oklahoma.”
No thank you, Governor Sanders. These states are NOT what we want our state to mimic.
The Democrat- Gazette has brought up some serious issues we have been concerned about since this last legislative session. Here’s what Governor Sanders said:
“Right now, a Chinese-owned state company operating in Arkansas could use their employees to FOIA for internal government documents,” she said Friday.
Governor, if there IS a Chinese company involved, then it’s a matter of OUR public safety, and this state government MUST deal with this another way besides blocking our freedoms and tampering with our highly esteemed FOIA law. Look at the devastation this state legislature has done by allowing Communist China operatives to come in and take over in our communities by passing HB1799/Act 851 the Arkansas Data Centers Act and HB1654/Act 819 the Sales and Use Tax Exemptions for Data Centers!
Remember: China BANNED cryptomining facilities, and now the Chinese operatives have come HERE to America and to Arkansas to set them up.
Legislators, you’re digging yourselves and us in deeper. Do what needs to be done to regain control.
Governor, REPEAL Act 851! We have been warning you AND the legislature about this.
Legislators, please introduce and pass Senator Bryan King’s repeal bill for HB1799/Act 851 today!
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