This post (the third in a series on 2015 bills) discusses two bills to sharpen the teeth behind FOIA by adding new potential consequences for violations (HB1646 and HB2223), a bill that would require centralized email archiving (SB674), and two bills that would permit secret subpoenas for Internet information, with no checks at all on prosecutors (HB1946 and SB919).
Continuing a series of posts (begun Monday) about bills in the 2015 General Assembly session, and resolutely ignoring the State of the Union nonsense, this post discusses (i) HB1573, concerning the Attorney General’s duties in representing the Commonwealth; (ii) HB1405 & HB1438, this year’s edition of the annual cage match between localities and newspapers on public notices; and (iii) HB1277 & SB955, which would permit and regulate hemp production.
There are a number of resources available to help find bills that may be of interest to those who believe in open government. The Virginia Coalition for Open Government’s annual legislative bill chart is a great place to start. Or you can try searching LIS or Richmond Sunlight databases for key words (on LIS, try 2.2-37*, which will identify all bills that make any changes in FOIA’s chapter). Rather than duplicate their efforts on bill identification, we’re going to leap right to quick commentary, as this year’s “short” General Assembly session powers along.
This post focuses on 5 bills (SB1133, HB1477, HB1635, HB1308, & HB1673) that are slated for consideration in Monday’s meetings of the Senate General Laws and Technology committee and the Civil and Criminal subcommittees of the House Courts of Justice committee.