Sen. Watson, Rep. Capriglione receive FOI Lawmaker of the Year awards

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas has honored Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin and Rep. Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake with its Open Government Lawmaker of the Year Award.

The award is presented periodically to legislators who ardently defend First Amendment principles and work to expand open government. Watson and Capriglione received the honor Thursday at the FOI Foundation of Texas state conference in Austin.

Capriglione said the First Amendment is what all office holders are sworn to uphold and that he was accepting the ward not just for the work he has done but for “what we’re about to do” in the future.

As he gave the conference’s keynote speech, Watson said open government laws are in place so citizens can see how tax dollars are spent and how elected officials are performing.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure these laws work,” Watson said. “Government transparency isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a fundamental issue.”

Watson is a Democrat, and Capriglione is a Republican.

Elected officials who don’t support open government “should be willing to declare who it is they’re working for because it’s not the citizens and the voters,” Watson said.