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Our Five Freedoms

This essay originally appeared in F1rst Things F1rst, a publication by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. Click here to learn more. By Gregory V. Sullivan We the people of the United States enjoy a system of government wherein our three branches, executive, legislative and judicial are intended to provide checks and balances upon […]

Unpopular Speech

This essay originally appeared in F1rst Things F1rst, a publication by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. Click here to learn more. By Justin Silverman About 50 years ago a Chicago attorney received a phone call from a man being prevented from demonstrating in a small town northwest of the city. Town officials, the […]

Mass. High Court Orders Disclosure of Police Incident Reports and Prosecution Data

By Jeffrey J. Pyle and Michael J. Lambert In a pair of decisions released on March 12, 2020, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ordered law enforcement agencies to provide incident reports, mugshots, and prosecution data to The Boston Globe.  In both decisions, the SJC rejected arguments — long invoked by agencies and municipalities — […]

Government Should Be an Open Book

By Jim Condos Trust in government is at an all-time low. As you can see playing out before our eyes in the news today, integrity is at a premium in times of crisis. Truth and transparency are necessary to effective leadership. In Vermont, we take great pride in having a government that is more accessible […]

New Year’s Resolution: Protecting Access to Public Records

By Jim Condos, Vt. Secretary of State The start of the new year provides an opportunity to reflect and set out our intentions for the months ahead. This year, I am asking all legislators to join me in committing to protect and expand access for Vermonters who are seeking access to public records. The bottom […]

Mass. Attorney General Dragging Feet on Records Referral

Have a public records story you would like to share? Email justin@nefac.org with your experience trying to obtain information through a state public records law. By Colman M. Herman Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is dragging her feet big time in a matter involving my efforts to obtain copies of racial and gender complaints filed […]

Mass. Gov. Baker’s Transparency Promise Revisited

Have a public records story you would like to share? Email justin@nefac.org with your experience trying to obtain information through a state public records law. By Colman M. Herman The Promise in 2014: “Charlie [Baker] has already proposed serious initiatives to make state government more transparent and will reexamine the practices regarding public records requests […]

An ‘Outrageous’ Public Records Response — Even for the Mass. State Police

Have a public records story you would like to share? Email justin@nefac.org with your experience trying to obtain information through a state public records law. By Colman M. Herman It is a fact of life that the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) often fail to respond to public records requests. And when they do, appeals often […]

NEFAC Prepared Remarks for Maple Run Unified School District Board Meeting

The following are prepared remarks by NEFAC’s Michael Donoghue for the June 5 Maple Run Unified School District Board meeting in St. Albans, Vermont. Donoghue provided these comments as a representative for both NEFAC and the Vermont Press Association. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Maple Run School Board: I would like to speak in […]

Word Games at Mass Dept. of Transportation

Have a public records story you would like to share? Email justin@nefac.org with your experience trying to obtain information through a state public records law. By Colman M. Herman When I was at the State Transportation Building in Boston recently, I noticed that Emerson College was occupying a large office on the second floor of […]