Attorney General, Press Association Announce 2016 FOIA Roadshows

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February 26, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and the Arkansas Press Association (APA) today announced the 2016 schedule for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Roadshows, which are informal workshops on the act and include the FOIA Made Simple presentation by the Attorney General’s office, detailing responsibilities and rights covered by the Act related to public meetings and documents.

For the first time ever, the roadshows will now include two dates where a live webcast will be offered where participants can watch and type questions to presenters.

“As the people’s lawyer, it is a top priority of mine to educate the public about their rights under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “That education is not limited to those in and around Little Rock, which is why I am proud to partner with the Arkansas Press Association to offer regional roadshows and for the first time, a live webcast. I will do whatever I can to help Arkansans better understand one of the strongest transparency laws in the nation, and I encourage all of those interested to join us.”

“The Arkansas Press Association and the Office of the Attorney General have combined forces for a number of years now to bring these important forums to the people of Arkansas,” said Tres Williams, APA’s director of government relations and communications. “They are essential tools for informing custodians of public records and other public officials of their responsibilities under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. They also provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness among average citizens across the state as to their rights under the law and the importance of preserving transparency and citizen involvement in government.”

All roadshows are free and open to the public. Register at ArkansasAG.gov. The program has been approved for 2.0 hours of general Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.

FOIA Roadshow Schedule:

Wednesday, March 9

10 a.m. to noon

Arkansas State University Mid-South, West Memphis

Marion Berry Renewable Energy Center, Room 136

 

Friday, April 1

10 a.m. to noon

Live webcast

 

Thursday, May 12

10 a.m. to noon

Arkansas Tech University, Russellville

Doc Bryan Student Services Building, Multipurpose Room 242

 

Tuesday, June 21

10 a.m. to noon

Live webcast

 

Tuesday, Sept. 6

10 a.m. to noon

University of Arkansas Community College at Hope

Hempstead Hall

 

Thursday, Oct. 13

10 a.m. to noon

University of Central Arkansas, Conway

Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, Rooms 112 and 113

 

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act was enacted by the General Assembly in 1967 after a strong push from a coalition of citizens and journalists and with the support of then-Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller. The bill passed the House and Senate without a dissenting vote. Gov. Rockefeller later reflected that the passage of the FOIA was one of the most significant achievements of his time in office.

Today’s announcement comes after Rutledge and the APA published the 17th edition of the FOIA handbook. Print copies of the Freedom of Information Handbook are available upon request from the Attorney General’s office by calling (501) 682-2007, and electronic copies of the handbook are available at ArkansasAG.gov and at ArkansasPress.org.

For more information about the roadshows, please email foiaroadshow@arkansasag.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.

Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.

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