For Immediate Release
AUSTIN _ The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas is hosting an Open Government Seminar in Arlington on April 17, featuring training in public meeting and public records laws. A First Amendment Institute session also offered that day will instruct journalists on free press rights.
The non-profit FOI Foundation, in cooperation with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, is organizing the one-day Open Government Seminar on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. It is designed for government employees, journalists, attorneys and anyone interested in the Texas Public Information Act and Texas Open Meetings Act.
“Access to public information is crucial for participating in our democracy. This seminar will help inform citizens and public officials about our state open government laws,” said Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
The training sessions will take place at the University of Texas at Arlington’s University Center.
A free morning session presented by the Texas Attorney General’s Office beginning at 8:30 a.m. will highlight the Texas Public Information Act and associated cost rules. A midday session presented by attorney and FOI Foundation board member Tom Williams of Haynes & Boone, LLP will address the Texas Open Meetings Act and will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Participants may register for either or both sessions.
There is a $50 admission fee for the Open Meetings Act session. Light lunch refreshments will be served. Attendees may also bring their own lunch or purchase lunch from a nearby food court.
The final event of the day, from 1:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., is the new First Amendment Institute, designed for journalists and addressing press freedom and libel laws. The First Amendment Institute session is free. Some travel scholarships may be available for out-of-town journalists.
The Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act training sessions are approved by the Attorney General’s Office as meeting the state requirements for open government training for public officials. The sessions also qualify for Continuing Legal Education through the State Bar of Texas.