RIGHT TO KNOW

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...
The Virginia Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a closely-watched dispute over fundraising foundations established by public universities and whether they should be subject to freedom of information laws that govern the schools themselves.The case hails from George Mason University, where a student group called Transparent GMU sued...
Virginia’s court system made it a lot easier to find online court records last week, quietly rolling out a statewide search function on its website that allows users to search by a defendant’s name to find docket information about criminal and traffic charges back to 1990 or earlier in...
Twenty years ago, open government advocates across the country were urging legislatures to modernize public records laws by moving past antiquated definitions of public records.Not only were they trying to drop the cumbersome lists of every type of record that could be used in the transaction of public business,...