It's Sunshine Week and this year it kicks off in New Jersey with oral arguments before our Supreme Court in an important Open Public Records Act (OPRA) case.
On March 15, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear Bozzi v. City of Jersey City, a case that asks whether a list of names and addresses of dog license holders are accessible under OPRA. The plaintiff seeks the list for commercial purposes--he intends to mail dog owners information about his invisible fences. The case is listed as the second case of the day, which means arguments will begin sometime after 11:00 a.m. You can watch it here.
OPRA’s personnel records exemption, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-10, renders most personnel records generally exempt from access under OPRA. The exemption contains three exceptions, however.
The first exception provides that:
“an individual’s name, title, position, salary, payroll record, length of service, date of separation and the reason therefor, and the amount and type of any pension received shall be a government record.”
This provision obviously means that requests for an employee’s individual paystub or an agency’s weekly, monthly, or year-end payroll ...
Update: Governor Murphy signed this bill into law on March 20, 2020. Many public agencies are already conducting electronic meetings.
The New Jersey Legislature is currently considering numerous bills in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. One bill is A3850, which passed in the Assembly on March 16, 2020, and will likely also pass in the Senate very soon. A3850 amends a public body’s obligations under the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) during a state of emergency. Because this is Sunshine Week and transparency is very important during a crisis, we decided to devote a blog to ...
Sunshine Week, which runs from March 15 to March 21, 2020, is an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information. There are many ways that you can get involved--from filing OPRA requests, to writing a letter to the editor, to attending a public meeting. On this blog, we will write several times this week about transparency topics and success we have had recently shedding light on New Jersey government!
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