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Corpus Christi Open Government Seminar Set for Feb. 25

Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, a longtime lawmaker and friend of Texas Open Government advocates, is hosting a free seminar on Feb. 25 to provide training in the Texas Public Information Act, the state’s cost rules for open records, and the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Hunter will lead an opening session examining recent updates to the TPIA and TOMA, followed by three other sessions to be conducted by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Overall, the program satisfies the AG Office’s Open Government training requirement for public employees.

The seminar will take place from 8:30 am to 2 pm at the Del Mar Center for Economic Development in Corpus Christi and is open to anyone including Texas broadcast journalists and the general public.

Attendance and meals are free, but advance registration is required.

Hunter has passed several TAB-backed Open Government and media law initiatives in recent legislative sessions such as the Texas Citizen Participation Act (the Texas anti-SLAPP litigation law) and a 2013 law that said public business, even if conducted on private electronic devices or in private email accounts, is public record.  

In 2015, Hunter helped pass a Senate companion bill to his House measure addressing a disastrous Texas Supreme Court ruling, Neely v. Wilson.

The ruling set aside nearly 25 years of case law and impeded the ability of journalists to conduct investigative reports based on third party allegations – even those made by a regulatory body.  

In 2019, Hunter-authored language was added to SB 944, the TPIA omnibus by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, which closed the so-called “custodian loophole” which prevented release of public records.

Hunter also successfully moved a bill out of the Texas House which sought to clarify that DOBs, unless statutorily or constitutionally protected by law, are subject to release. The measure, unfortunately, died on the Senate Intent Calendar.

Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944, for assistance.

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