In dozens of U.S. cities and states, the rights to publish state and local laws don’t belong to the people or the governments. They belong to private contractors.
A federal law has been interpreted by many state governments and state courts to allow their agencies to keep secret studies, surveys and other data about dangerous roads, bridges and intersections if there is even a remote possibility that someone might one day sue the government for failing to make needed redesigns or repairs.
Under what circumstances should footage from police body and dashboard cameras be made public, and how much?
A nonprofit organization will be repaid for legal fees it incurred to defend the public’s right to public records.
A Canadian bus manufacturer committed to creating local jobs and paying a living wage. Did it follow through?
The federal government routinely fails to list the amount of toxic chemicals spilled into the nation’s waterways, leaving the public in the dark about spills’ impacts on residents, neighborhoods and the environment.
Government contracting, which involves billions of dollars in public funds each year, has become one of the least transparent systems that state and local governments maintain. Under the guise of protecting “trade secrets,” state and local governments are withholding critical information about public spending.
While much media attention is focused on federal government secrecy, secretive practices of state and local governments often get less scrutiny but frequently have a more immediate impact on communities.