Your right to know: New bill would keep government deals open to the public

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The message of the First Amendment to our Constitution is clear: The people of this country have a basic right to know what their elected officials are doing, and how their tax dollars are being spent. Unfortunately, legislation and court decisions over the years have enabled government officials to violate those principles.

Among the thousands of proposed new laws that the 86th Texas Legislature will consider this year will be bills for and against open government and the public’s right to know what they’re paying for.

One of the most critical, and highest-profile, bills in this session is House Bill 81 filed by State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, that would require government bodies to release information regarding how much they spent on parades, festivals and other entertainment events.

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