During the regular session of the 91st General Assembly of the 2017 Arkansas Legislature,ACT 923--initially introduced as House Bill 2132--was reviewed, approved and signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in April of 2017.
ACT 923 created the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Task Force, a State sponsored entity which was given the responsibility of evaluating proposals being promoted by various members of the State Legislature which, if adopted, would affect, in some way, the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of 1967, as amended.
The Task Force was also assigned the responsibility of reporting its recommendations concerning any proposal from a Senator or Representative to the full Legislative body before, or during, each regular session.
Although the Task Force was given no legal authority, its recommendations to the full Legislature concerning proposed enactments are given a “due pass”, “do not pass” or “recommend revisions” designation. Before assigning such a designation, the Task Force invites those Senators and/or Representatives sponsoring Legislative proposals to appear before the TaskForce membership for the purpose of defending their respective points of view and answering pertinent questions from Task Force members concerning their proposals.
The Task Force shall consist of nine members as follows:
• one member appointed by the Governor • one member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate • one member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives • one member appointed by the Arkansas Press Association • one member appointed by the Arkansas Freedom of Information Coalition • one member appointed by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists • one member appointed by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association • one member appointed by the Association of Arkansas Counties • one member appointed by the Arkansas Municipal League