I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times
That iconic Beach Boys song from the ’60s came to mind when I looked into proposed legislation to spiff up Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act (FOAI).
Over the weekend, I prepared a column on Senate Bill 155, but wanted to get both sides of the issue.
I sent out a couple of Emails – one to the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, and the state Department of Justice.
Justice Department spokesman Mat Marshall responded the next day with well-crafted answers to my questions. Matt, while defending the measure, acknowledged the tension that exists between public officials and the media.
When it came to Evans Gay, a freshman state senator from Brandywine Hundred, it took a couple of requests to get a response.
A Senate staffer forwarded the responses and pointed to tweets and a Facebook post from the senator over the weekend on a decision to pause the bill to allow more discussion.
Silly me, I thought as I read the posts. Didn’t I know that social media is the first place to look for a response from a public official?
Generation gaps aside, the question that remains is the extent of the FOIA abuses that take place.
I still suspect this an all-too-common piece of Delaware legislation addressing problems that could be fixed with minor tweaks.
In reading the bill, it appears that denial of records requests could become more cumbersome, especially with a hostile government entity with plenty of lawyers on hand.
Even so, Senate Bill 155 is a largely unnecessary piece of legislation that is a step in the wrong direction. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.