Sunday, March 10, 2013
Hey - it's Sunshine Week!
Yes, despite the prediction of rain for today, it is the start of Sunshine Week, where we celebrate and embrace our right to know things about our governments.
It's made possible due to support from Bloomberg LP and the John S. and James L Knight Foundations. It's a national initiative to promote the importance of open government and freedom of information.
In Ohio, we're very fortunate to have one of the best public records laws in the country. Just about anything you'd want to know about what's going on in your township, city, county, state, school, or other public entity, is covered and your access to that information is a priority.
It's all right there in Ohio Revised Code 149.43, but in case reading codified law isn't your thing, there is the Ohio Sunshine Book.
For years, Attorneys General and State Auditors of Ohio have jointly published this handy reference guide that tells you, in plain language, what the law says; it also includes information about open meetings laws that public bodies must follow. The book is available on line, or you can order a printed copy or CD for free from the AG.
Take a moment to check it out. Know what the requirements are for Ohio public bodies and then make sure your *favorite* entity is following the rules. Also, make a public records request. It's pretty easy and you may be surprised what you find out.
It's your government - using public records laws to hold it accountable is your responsibility!
So, let the sun shine in!