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VIRGINIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

2020 Subcommittees

The 2020 Session of the General Assembly referred one bill to the FOIA Council for study during the interim. The FOIA Council also continued its Phishing Study which was referred by the 2019 Session of the General Assembly. At its meeting on August 4, 2020, the FOIA Council established two subcommittees to study these bills as described below.

1. HB 321 - Electronic Meetings Subcommittee

The Subcommittee consists of Council members Coleburn, Conrad, Potter, Rives, Seltzer, Stern, and Wade. The Subcommittee will study House Bill 321 (Levine), summarized as follows:

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; electronic meetings; serious medical condition of immediate family member. Allows a public body to conduct a meeting through electronic communication means if, on or before the day of a meeting, a member of the public body holding the meeting notifies the chair of the public body that he is unable to attend due to a serious medical condition of an immediate family member that prevents the member's physical attendance. The bill also limits such participation in an electronic meeting due to a personal matter to either two meetings per calendar year or 10 percent of the meetings held that calendar year, rounded up to the nearest whole number, whichever is greater.

The Subcommittee will also study other issues related to electronic meetings as needed, including issues which have been raised due to the COVID-19 state of emergency

Redline Draft for Consideration (pdf)

Redline Draft for Consideration (Word doc)

Meetings Scheduled:
Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 1:15 p.m., Virtual Meeting
Agenda
Meeting Video (mp4)
VCOG Remarks
Further VCOG Remarks
VPA Remarks
Aimee Perron Siebert Remarks

Jon Stehle Remarks
Jennifer Passey Remarks
Lauren Colliver Remarks

Susan Anderson Remarks
Joseph Swartz Remarks
Elizabeth Bennett-Parker Remarks
Phyllis Errico Remarks


2. HJ 628 - Phishing Study Subcommittee

The Subcommittee consists of Council members Treadway (Chair), Bujakowski, King-Casey, Rives, and Wade. The Subcommittee will study the threat of phishing attacks using information obtained through FOIA as proposed by House Joint Resolution 628 (Heretick, 2019), summarized as follows:

Study; Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; threat of phishing attacks; report. Directs the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council (FOIA Council) to study the threat of phishing attacks on citizens and public employees whose contact and private information is legally obtained as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The study further directs the FOIA Council to examine the current FOIA provisions and make recommendations on ways to address the threat of phishing attacks on citizens and public employees of the Commonwealth.

[NOTE: Please click here to view the work of the Subcommittee in 2019.]

3. HB 5090 - Criminal Incident Information Subcommittee

The Subcommittee consists of Council members Delegate Simon (Chair), Conrad, King-Casey, Seltzer, and an additional citizen member, Marisa Porto. The Subcommittee will study House Bill 5090 (Hurst), summarized as follows:

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; law-enforcement criminal incident information; criminal investigative files. Adds criminal investigative files, defined in the bill, to the types of law-enforcement and criminal records required to be released in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Under current law, the release of criminal investigative files is discretionary. The bill also allows a law-enforcement agency or attorney for the Commonwealth to petition a court of record for permission not to release criminal incident information that would otherwise be subject to release, if the release of such information is likely to jeopardize an ongoing investigation or cause certain other harms.

Meetings Scheduled:
Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 2:00 p.m., Virtual Meeting
Agenda
Meeting Video (mp4)
Innocence Project's proposed legislation
Summary of National Landscape on Public Access to Criminal Investigative Files
50 State Analysis of Public Access to Criminal Investigative Files
Written Testimony from victim family members Jason Nixon & Debbie Borato

Innocence Project Testimony from Michelle Feldman
VCOG Remarks


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