FEBRUARY 2015

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ABOUT NEFAC


FIRST AMENDMENT
OF U.S. CONSTITUTION 

Congress shall make 
no law respecting an establishment of religion, 
or prohibiting the free 
exercise thereof; or 
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; 
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, 
and to petition the 
Government for a 
redress of grievances.
LEARN ABOUT OUR ANNUAL NEW ENGLAND FIRST AMENDMENT INSTITUTE









KNOWNEWENGLAND.ORG: OUR HUB OF FOI AND PUBLIC RECORD INFORMATION









NEFAC'S ANNUAL 
NEW ENGLAND FIRST AMENDMENT AWARDS



We welcome contributions 
to The NEFAC Report from journalists, lawyers, academics 
or other advocates of 
government transparency. If 
you have something to add 
to the conversation, please let 
us know. Your stories, experiences and commentaries have broad appeal and value.
 
Submissions can be emailed to: [email protected]stamendment.org



 
  2015 NEW ENGLAND FIRST AMENDMENT AWARDS
Hamblett Award Recipient Gertner Calls
for Cameras in Court, Judicial Accessibility
Foley Family Asks Journalists to Support Each Other,
Work Together to Protect First Amendment Freedoms
Nancy Gertner (third from left) 
with members of the Hamblett Family.
NEFAC hosted its fifth annual New England First Amendment Awards luncheon on Feb. 20 in Boston, honoring retired judge Nancy Gertner with its 2015 Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award

During the luncheon, the coalition also honored slain journalist James Foley with its annual Freedom of Information Award and announced the James W. Foley Scholarship, which would allow a local journalist to attend its New England First Amendment Institute each year at no cost. Harriet Cady, a long-time New Hampshire open government advocate, received this year's Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award. [More]

Additional Coverage
Diane and John Foley accept NEFAC's 
2015 FOI Award on behalf of their son James.

  NEFAC BLOG
CCFOI Testifies to Connecticut General Assembly About Proposed FOI Legislation

The New England First Amendment Coalition's James H. Smith provided testimony earlier this month to the Conn. General Assembly Government, Administration and Elections Committee, which is considering three bills of First Amendment and right-to-know interest. He testified on behalf of the Conn. Council on Freedom of Information. The bills involve the release of information related to criminal investigations, the extension of term limits for commissioners of the state's FOI Commission, and the online publication of voter registration data. [More]

Why the Portland Press Herald Defied
Court Order Barring Press Coverage

At first I was confused when Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz issued his order banning news reporters from reporting anything witnesses said in the criminal case against a well-known Maine attorney. But the judge said it again when I stood in the courtroom and asked him to clarify. Did he mean to restrict the use of cameras? Or did he mean to restrict me as a staff writer for the Portland Press Herald and a member of the public? [More]

Too Few Sign FOI Pledge

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, Lieutenant Gov. Nancy Wyman and state Comptroller Kevin Lembo - a card-carrying FOI advocate - have signed the Freedom of Information Pledge proffered by the non-profit advocacy group Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. It took several weeks for Malloy to decide to sign on. Lembo asked immediately, "where do I sign?" But too few have. [More]


  OTHER FOI AND FIRST AMENDMENT NEWS
   General
   Connecticut
   
   Maine

   Massachusetts

   New Hampshire  
   Coverage of House Bill 646

   Rhode Island
   
   Vermont