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TAB is already monitoring legislation filed in advance of the 84th Texas Legislature that could potentially affect the public’s right to know how government operates.  TAB will be joined in the fight to preserve newsrooms’ rights by the Texas Press Association and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

Roughly 1,000 bills and resolutions will be pre-filed before the Legislature convenes next week on Jan. 13.  Of those, TAB is tracking more than 70 which could have an impact on newsrooms’ ability to cover their local communities.  If recent trends continue, lawmakers will file 6,000+ bills and resolutions by the time the 60 day regular filing period ends on March 13. 

The trend of increased financial transparency bills continues from last session, but one emerging this session is the number of law enforcement related transparency bills.  True to form, some measures already have been filed that would erode the Texas Public Information Act, but there are several TPIA and Texas Open Meetings Act friendly bills that also have been filed.  The TPIA and TOMA are the two laws on the books that promote government transparency.

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