This post was changed from the original post. I was under the impression that the General Assembly had placed themselves under Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act (or FOIA). However, a comment to the original posting showed that my understanding of FOIA was wrong. So the updated post:
The Delaware General Assembly has, by law, been under the auspices of the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (Title 29, Chapter 100 – FOIA) since HB 1 was signed by Governor Markell on June 12.
Except that it never put itself under the Open Meeting Section of the law and so is still exempt from following the rules that it applies to everyone else. All of that grandstanding for all of those years, but the General Assembly still is exempt from FOIA. Hypocrisy thy name is General Assembly.
To quote from the text of the Freedom of Information Act:
All public bodies shall give public notice of their regular meetings and of their intent to hold an executive session closed to the public, at least 7 days in advance thereof.
When the agenda is not available as of the time of the initial posting of the public notice it shall be added to the notice at least 6 hours in advance of said meeting, and the reasons for the delay in posting shall be briefly set forth on the agenda.
The following was copied from the General Assembly’s website, today:
MEETING NOTICES & AGENDAS
Public Meeting Notices are posted to the website once the meetings are scheduled. Some Meeting Notices contain bills that may be discussed during the scheduled Committee Meeting. If you have questions regarding a Committee Meeting, please contact the office of the Committee Chair. The Committee Chair is listed on the Committee Notice.
This statement is in clear violation of FOIA. In addition, the following was taken from the House Revenue & Taxation Committee Meeting Schedule on the General Assembly’s website, today:
AGENDA TO BE ANNOUNCED
This agenda is also in clear violation of FOIA.
These two clear violations are not violations for the General Assembly because the General Assembly never changed the following clause:
This subsection concerning notice of meetings shall not apply to any emergency meeting …, health or safety, or to the General Assembly.
Don’t let any member of the General Assembly tell their constituents that they passed “open government” because it really isn’t so.