Davis, other Texas lawmakers to address annual FOIFT conference

Sen. Wendy Davis, vice-chair of the Senate Open Government Committee, will be the luncheon keynote speaker at the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas annual conference Aug. 9.

Davis, D-Fort Worth, proposed a package of transparency bills during this year’s regular legislative session related to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Another of her open government bills ultimately included important updates to the Texas Public Information Act.

For his open government and First Amendment efforts, Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, will be honored at the FOIFT conference luncheon with the inaugural Open Government Lawmaker of the Year Award.

Hunter, chairman of the important House Calendars Committee, oversaw successful legislation that provides a framework to encourage someone who believes he or she has been defamed in a publication or broadcast to come forward in a timely fashion to request a retraction, correction or clarification. Another law authored by Hunter clarifies an appellate protection for whistleblowers, journalists and bloggers in lawsuits that attempt to clamp down on free speech.

Other lawmakers participating in the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas conference are Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, who will be featured in a panel discussion on transparency in higher education and Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, who is taking part in a panel on newly passed open government legislation.

The annual conference runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9, at the Sheraton Austin. For registration information, please see our website’s events section.