Governor signs long-sought law on public record fees

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication.  Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law Monday a bill that has been on the Iowa Newspaper Association’s “wish list” since 2018. SF 2322 makes important changes in Iowa’s public records law that relate to the fees state…

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Here’s another place we need more transparency 

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication.  There has been a lot of talk lately about why Iowa’s K-12 school districts need to be more transparent, and more accessible and more accountable, to parents and the rest of the tax-paying people of Iowa.…

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Senate change won’t better inform Iowans

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication.  Typically, in the days leading up to the start of a new session of the Iowa Legislature, the attention is on lawmakers’ goals and priorities — and on the pledges they make to work together for…

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School officials haven’t learned important lesson

By Randy EvansExecutive DirectorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. The past couple of years have been challenging for Iowa’s 327 public school districts. Parents have become very engaged with their schools — and enraged, too, at times. This has revolved around masks and vaccines, what…

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Public must be informed in doctor discipline

By Randy Evans, Executive DirectorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. The Iowa Legislature’s “To Do” list should be a little longer after last week. And people need to contact their senators and representatives in the Legislature to make sure they understand their duty is to…

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Government losing sight of serving the public

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. Several times a week, someone reaches out to me because they had difficulty learning about a government meeting or ran into obstacles trying to get government records. These calls and emails to the Iowa Freedom of Information…

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Government needs room for common sense

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. People like to talk about what the law says. And in Iowa, the law has a lot to say.  Just look at the Iowa Code. It now fills eight volumes and costs $295 for a complete set.…

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Charter schools must have sunshine, too

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. The 2021 session of the Iowa Legislature will end in a few weeks, and one big issue moving toward a final vote would make charter schools easier to create as an alternative to the traditional K-12 public…

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How you can still lose while winning in court

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. Many years ago, during a conversation with an old lawyer, he made a comment I still remember: “You can sue the bishop of Boston for bastardy, but that doesn’t mean you are going to collect.” It was…

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Iowa should stop keeping police discipline secret

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. The actions of journalists and police officers were in the spotlight last week in a Des Moines courtroom. The scrutiny came at the trial of Andrea Sahouri, a Des Moines Register reporter. She was arrested while…

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