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Arizona Senate has spent $500,000 on election 'audit' legal fees

The Arizona Senate has spent more than $500,000 in taxpayer money related to the partisan election review it conducted in 2021, including on legal battles over public records and access to the audit facility.... Read more»

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The Tucson agenda

Tucson looks to invest flush city budget surplus in public safety, streets & transit

Tucson's $158 million "fund balance" creates opportunities for the City Council to spend on transportation and public safety priorities. Plus, more in our quick look at what's planned for local government meetings this week. ... Read more»

Sunshine Week

Foilies 2022: Recognizing the year’s worst in government transparency

Each year during Sunshine Week (March 13-19), the Foilies serve up tongue-in-cheek "awards" for government agencies and assorted institutions that stand in the way of access to information. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and MuckRock combine forces to collect horror stories about Freedom of Information Act and state-level public records requests across the U.S.... Read more»

'Audit' documents are public records: Arizona Supreme Court declines Fann’s appeal

Communications between subcontractors, invoices and a host of other records related to the state Senate’s self-styled audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County must be released as public records after the Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear Senate President Karen Fann’s appeal of an appellate court ruling. ... Read more»

Dominion Voting Systems sues Santa Clara County to block release of public records

Dominion Voting Systems filed a writ of mandate Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court to prevent the county from releasing financial information gathered during a contract procurement process - including one request made by a “sovereign citizen of New California.” ... Read more»

Arizona 'audit' contractors won’t have to release records pending appeal

The companies conducting the controversial review of the election in Maricopa County won’t have to turn over internal documents and communications while the Senate appeals a judge’s ruling ordering that they be released under Arizona public records law.... Read more»

Judge: Arizona Senate must disclose who is funding its election review

A judge said the Arizona Senate's reasoning for why it rejected a public records request for documents relating to the ongoing ballot review — including who is funding the effort — would lead to the "absurd result" of effectively gutting state public records law and "erode any sense of transparency" in government.... Read more»

Arizona budget bill provision would allow DPS to block release of all video records

Tucked into a budget bill on criminal justice is a provision that would allow the Arizona Department of Public Safety to outright deny releasing any video records the agency possesses and to heavily edit any videos it chooses to make public.... Read more»

Arizona DPS troopers could get body cams, along with restrictions blocking release of footage

Republican lawmakers are poised to give the Arizona Department of Public Safety money to equip all state troopers with body-worn cameras — but along with the money comes severe restrictions on the public’s ability to ever see what those cameras capture.... Read more»

Az Dep't of Education releases school grades after pushing reporter from office

After refusing to release school letter grade records distributed to Arizona public schools and claiming that no list of all scores existed, the Department of Education has reversed course and released the records to media outlets who sought them.... Read more»3

Az Dep't of Education forcibly removes reporter asking to inspect records

The Arizona Department of Education physically pushed an AZCIR reporter out of its Capitol Mall offices Thursday in response to a request to inspect the latest school letter grade records. The agency’s security guard told AZCIR’s reporter he was trespassing and pushed him out of the public building.... Read more»

Arizona public records aren’t so public

More than a month ago, 19 Arizona agencies were given simple public record requests seeking data on the numbers of those requests those agencies received in 2015 and 2016. Less than half responded. ... Read more»

SRP gets failing grade for transparency of online financial records

Arizona’s Salt River Project earned failing marks for the transparency of its online financial records, one of more than half of special districts nationwide to fail in a new report on districts that provide services independently of state or local jurisdictions.... Read more»

Cap Times: Az legislators stonewall on releasing text messages

Arizona lawmakers are improperly redacting, delaying and denying the release of text messages they've used to conduct legislative business, in violation of state public records laws, the Arizona Capitol Times reported after a four-month investigation.... Read more»

Only 3 states score higher than D+ in Integrity probe; 11 flunk

Trouble in America's statehouses: secrecy, questionable ethics and conflicts of interest — These are among the practices illuminated by the State Integrity Investigation, which measured hundreds of variables to compile transparency and accountability grades for all 50 states. The results are nothing short of stunning. The best grade in the nation, which went to Alaska, is just a C. Only two others earned better than a D+; 11 states received failing grades.... Read more»

Scandals spur little change: Arizona graded D in integrity exam

Gaps in government transparency and accountability in Arizona over the past few years are not hard to find. The Copper State received an overall score of 64 – a D grade — in a new State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of government accountability and transparency in all 50 states.... Read more»

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