RIGHT TO KNOW

In a tumultuous 2020, when it seems like everything is fraying at the seams, there are still certainties.Death. Taxes.And Virginia officials flouting the spirit and letter of the state's Freedom of Information Act — which says it "ensures the people of the commonwealth ready access to public records in...
If open-government advocates have their way in Richmond, relatives of crime victims and the news media may finally learn more details about a host of violent incidents – many that are several years old and votes of the State Parole Board will be pulled into the light of day.It’s...
I’m no expert on the art of policing. Beyond my personal opinions, I couldn’t tell you when the use of force is or isn’t appropriate, or to what extent police officers should be immune from lawsuits for their actions. I wouldn't know how much militarized equipment is necessary or...
Last month, as it was becoming apparent that Virginia was lagging other states in testing capacity and struggling to procure enough protective gear for long-term care facilities, first responders and hospitals, Gov. Ralph Northam's administration announced it had reached a deal with global consulting firm McKinsey and Company to...
They are simple questions and they deserve honest answers, especially when people’s lives are at stake.What nursing homes have reported COVID-19 outbreaks? Are there outbreaks at food processing plants in Virginia, and where are they? What do Virginia taxpayers have to show for their $27 million contract to buy...
It may be the height of irony during Sunshine Week — the access and transparency community's annual love letter to open records and open meetings laws across our country — to hear me say that all the rules of open government might not apply right now.I've never been one...
Before letting legislators leave for the day, House of Delegates Clerk Suzette Denslow reminded them that the faster they get their conference reports done, the faster they can be voted on.“So don't wait until the last minute,” Denslow said.Lawmakers have a few more days to get their homework done...
Virginia General Assembly members would have to disclose who's giving them big checks right before they vote on new laws under a bill that passed out of a state Senate committee Tuesday.The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Salem, would require lawmakers to disclose donations over $1,000 during the...
The Virginia Supreme Court sided with administrators at George Mason University in a closely-watched lawsuit challenging whether private fundraising foundations established by public universities can keep donor records secret.The justices wrote in an opinion issued Thursday that private foundations, no matter how closely intertwined with the university they serve,...
Every year, Virginia’s state-run liquor monopoly puts out a roster of its best-selling products. And this year, just like the year before, Tito’s Handmade Vodka took the top spot.But those overall sales figures conceal a rich and varied tapestry of local liquor preference.Courtesy of freshly compiled data by the...