AUSTIN _ The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas is hosting an Open Government Seminar in San Antonio on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, featuring training in public meeting and public records laws. The First Amendment Institute later that day will instruct journalists on press rights.
The non-profit FOI Foundation, in cooperation with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, is organizing the one-day seminar. 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 will take place at San Antonio College in the Loftin Student Center.
A 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 attend either or both sessions.
The sessions are free. Optional donations are welcome. Attendees may bring their own lunch or purchase one from the nearby food court and bring it into the training sessions.
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.
The final event of the day, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., is the free First Amendment Institute, designed for journalists and students and addressing press freedom and libel laws. Some travel scholarships may be available for out-of-town journalists.
San Antonio’s College’s Journalism-Photography Department and CourthouseDirect.com are co-sponsors of the June 19 event. To register, visit the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas website at www.foift.org or contact the FOI Foundation office at 512-377-1575.