March 2017-CALL Your Texas Legislator and Tell them to Support FIXING Public Information


 
Public Right to know about contracts between govt and private business

March 2017-CALL Your Texas Legislator and Tell them to Support FIXING Public Information
 


3 March 2017 at 7:17:10 PM
salon

Update: I've called, have you?

Brian Birdwell, SD-22 is our Texas Senator for Somervell County - 

J D Sheffield is our District 59 House Rep for Somervell County

THIS LINK has the phone numbers to call. If you believe in open government, and we all should, eh? read the bills below, and if you agree that private businesses that have contracts with our government and SPEND OUR TAX MONEY should be accountable via open records. 

from Dallas Morning News 

AUSTIN — Recent rulings by the Texas Supreme Court have hidden records long regarded as public, such as contracts between a governmental body and a private business, and have contributed to growing secrecy about how state and local authorities spend your tax dollars.

Troubled by that trend, a Republican in the House and a Democrat in the Senate will file bills Tuesday to strengthen the state's open records law. The Texas Public Information Act was once touted as among the strongest in the nation, but recent court rulings and decades of attorney general opinions have chipped away at it.

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, and Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, are carrying the identical bills, which will take aim at two rulings open government experts say advance corporate interests at the expense of the public interest.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram- Bills would restore public's right to know

A 2015 San Antonio case involving aerospace giant Boeing Co. has allowed companies and individuals holding government contracts to block disclosure of the terms by claiming it would give an advantage to competitors.

That same year, the Greater Houston Partnership was allowed to block release of information regarding its contracts to perform government services.

The identical bills from Capriglione and Watson — HB792 and 793, and SB407 and 408 — would restore taxpayers’ ability to know how their money is being spent.

85R5525 BEF-F
 
  By: Capriglione H.B. No. 792
 
 
 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 

AN ACT

  relating to the exception from disclosure under the public
  information law for information related to competition or bidding.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 552.104, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 552.104.  EXCEPTION: INFORMATION RELATED TO
  COMPETITION OR BIDDING.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (c),
  information [Information] is excepted from the requirements of
  Section 552.021 if a governmental body demonstrates that release of
  the [it is] information [that, if released,] would harm its
  interests by providing an [give] advantage to a competitor or
  bidder in a particular competitive situation.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), the [The]
  requirement of Section 552.022 that a category of information
  listed under Section 552.022(a) is public information and not
  excepted from required disclosure under this chapter unless
  expressly confidential under law does not apply to information that
  is excepted from required disclosure under this section.
         (c)  The exception under this section does not apply to:
               (1)  a bid or proposal, or information contained in a
  bid or proposal, after the governmental body executes or awards the
  contract to which the bid or proposal relates; or
               (2)  an account, voucher, or contract, or information
  contained in or describing an account, voucher, or contract.
         (d)  Section 552.305 does not apply to the exception under
  this section.
         SECTION 2.  Section 552.305(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  In a case in which information is requested under this
  chapter and a person's privacy or property interests may be
  involved, including a case under Section 552.101, [552.104,]
  552.110, or 552.114, a governmental body may decline to release the
  information for the purpose of requesting an attorney general
  decision.
         SECTION 3.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  a request for information received by a governmental body or an
  officer for public information on or after the effective date of
  this Act.  A request for information received before the effective
  date of this Act is governed by the law in effect when the request
  was received, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

HB793

85R1700 MCK-D
 
  By: Capriglione H.B. No. 793
 
 
 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 

AN ACT

  relating to the definition of a governmental body for the purposes
  of the public information law.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 552.003(1), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
               (1)  "Governmental body":
                     (A)  means:
                           (i)  a board, commission, department,
  committee, institution, agency, or office that is within or is
  created by the executive or legislative branch of state government
  and that is directed by one or more elected or appointed members;
                           (ii)  a county commissioners court in the
  state;
                           (iii)  a municipal governing body in the
  state;
                           (iv)  a deliberative body that has
  rulemaking or quasi-judicial power and that is classified as a
  department, agency, or political subdivision of a county or
  municipality;
                           (v)  a school district board of trustees;
                           (vi)  a county board of school trustees;
                           (vii)  a county board of education;
                           (viii)  the governing board of a special
  district;
                           (ix)  the governing body of a nonprofit
  corporation organized under Chapter 67, Water Code, that provides a
  water supply or wastewater service, or both, and is exempt from ad
  valorem taxation under Section 11.30, Tax Code;
                           (x)  a local workforce development board
  created under Section 2308.253;
                           (xi)  a nonprofit corporation that is
  eligible to receive funds under the federal community services
  block grant program and that is authorized by this state to serve a
  geographic area of the state; and
                           (xii)  the part, section, or portion of an
  organization, corporation, commission, committee, institution, or
  agency that:
                                 (a)  receives public funds or other
  public resources unless the receipt of the funds or other resources
  imposes a specific and definite obligation on the entity to provide
  a measurable amount of service in exchange for the funds or other
  resources as would be expected in an arms-length transaction for
  services between a vendor and purchaser;
                                 (b)  is a party to a contract with a
  governmental body or involved in another relationship with a
  governmental body that involves public funds and that indicates a
  common purpose or objective or that creates an agency-type
  relationship between the entity and one or more governmental
  bodies; or
                                 (c)  provides services traditionally
  provided by a governmental body [spends or that is supported in
  whole or in part by public funds]; and
                     (B)  does not include the judiciary.
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to a request for public information received on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A request for public information
  received before the effective date of this Act is governed by the
  law in effect when the request was received, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

 SB407

85R5525 BEF-F
 
  By: Watson S.B. No. 407
 
 
 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 

AN ACT

  relating to the exception from disclosure under the public
  information law for information related to competition or bidding.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 552.104, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 552.104.  EXCEPTION: INFORMATION RELATED TO
  COMPETITION OR BIDDING.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (c),
  information [Information] is excepted from the requirements of
  Section 552.021 if a governmental body demonstrates that release of
  the [it is] information [that, if released,] would harm its
  interests by providing an [give] advantage to a competitor or
  bidder in a particular competitive situation.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), the [The]
  requirement of Section 552.022 that a category of information
  listed under Section 552.022(a) is public information and not
  excepted from required disclosure under this chapter unless
  expressly confidential under law does not apply to information that
  is excepted from required disclosure under this section.
         (c)  The exception under this section does not apply to:
               (1)  a bid or proposal, or information contained in a
  bid or proposal, after the governmental body executes or awards the
  contract to which the bid or proposal relates; or
               (2)  an account, voucher, or contract, or information
  contained in or describing an account, voucher, or contract.
         (d)  Section 552.305 does not apply to the exception under
  this section.
         SECTION 2.  Section 552.305(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  In a case in which information is requested under this
  chapter and a person's privacy or property interests may be
  involved, including a case under Section 552.101, [552.104,]
  552.110, or 552.114, a governmental body may decline to release the
  information for the purpose of requesting an attorney general
  decision.
         SECTION 3.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  a request for information received by a governmental body or an
  officer for public information on or after the effective date of
  this Act.  A request for information received before the effective
  date of this Act is governed by the law in effect when the request
  was received, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

SB408

85R1700 MCK-D
 
  By: Watson S.B. No. 408
 
 
 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 

AN ACT

  relating to the definition of a governmental body for the purposes
  of the public information law.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 552.003(1), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
               (1)  "Governmental body":
                     (A)  means:
                           (i)  a board, commission, department,
  committee, institution, agency, or office that is within or is
  created by the executive or legislative branch of state government
  and that is directed by one or more elected or appointed members;
                           (ii)  a county commissioners court in the
  state;
                           (iii)  a municipal governing body in the
  state;
                           (iv)  a deliberative body that has
  rulemaking or quasi-judicial power and that is classified as a
  department, agency, or political subdivision of a county or
  municipality;
                           (v)  a school district board of trustees;
                           (vi)  a county board of school trustees;
                           (vii)  a county board of education;
                           (viii)  the governing board of a special
  district;
                           (ix)  the governing body of a nonprofit
  corporation organized under Chapter 67, Water Code, that provides a
  water supply or wastewater service, or both, and is exempt from ad
  valorem taxation under Section 11.30, Tax Code;
                           (x)  a local workforce development board
  created under Section 2308.253;
                           (xi)  a nonprofit corporation that is
  eligible to receive funds under the federal community services
  block grant program and that is authorized by this state to serve a
  geographic area of the state; and
                           (xii)  the part, section, or portion of an
  organization, corporation, commission, committee, institution, or
  agency that:
                                 (a)  receives public funds or other
  public resources unless the receipt of the funds or other resources
  imposes a specific and definite obligation on the entity to provide
  a measurable amount of service in exchange for the funds or other
  resources as would be expected in an arms-length transaction for
  services between a vendor and purchaser;
                                 (b)  is a party to a contract with a
  governmental body or involved in another relationship with a
  governmental body that involves public funds and that indicates a
  common purpose or objective or that creates an agency-type
  relationship between the entity and one or more governmental
  bodies; or
                                 (c)  provides services traditionally
  provided by a governmental body [spends or that is supported in
  whole or in part by public funds]; and
                     (B)  does not include the judiciary.
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to a request for public information received on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A request for public information
  received before the effective date of this Act is governed by the
  law in effect when the request was received, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

 


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