NC Open Government Coalition

Shrouded in secrecy: NC's move away from transparency

You only need to know what we tell you:

As the General Assembly concludes its business for the year, it is time to take stock of changes made to North Carolina’s sunshine laws. So far, lawmakers have approved and Gov. Pat McCrory has signed seven new exemptions to the Public Records Law. Three more lurk in the recently finalized budget bill.

The largest new exemption came at the very end of the session. During the budget process, the Senate tacked an expansion of the terrorism exemption into the bill. It would exclude “plans, schedules, or other documents” used with “executive protection and security,” which could exclude the governor’s calendar from public record. It would apply to every government executive with a security detail.

I'm sure Governor McTravel will find that one helpful, since his excursions to RGA conventions and subsequent misfiling of legally-required reports has gotten him into hot water several times. If nobody knows where and when you've gone, they can't ask any pesky questions, right? But if you're patient enough to wait for a century, all will be revealed:

NC Open Government Coalition's Sunshine Day coming soon

Throw open the curtains, baby:

Join us for Sunshine Day 2015 at the Durham Convention Center on Monday, March 16, 2015. Sunshine Day will include a morning public records training session that will highlight Greensboro’s Public Information Request Tracking system, our inaugural awards luncheon, a keynote speech by Attorney General Roy Cooper, and afternoon panel sessions on transparency in the justice system. You can register through the event page on Eventbrite here. If you’ve got questions about Sunshine Day registration or need an alternative to registering through the website, please contact director Jonathan Jones at

Government works best when the lights are shining on it, and with the increase in corporate manipulation of our public policy, we need this movement to succeed more than ever. Very often the discussions we have here at BlueNC begin with news that's reported by our local media outlets, who are often stymied by government officials who would release no information at all if they could get away with it. It's a constant struggle, and we owe these folks a pat on the back for engaging in it on a near-daily basis.

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