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Monday, March 10, 2014

CT Senate Leader Opposes Privacy Bill as Affront to FOI

By Mark Pazniokas

In testimony delivered in quick succession today to two legislative committees, Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, strongly condemned post-Newtown legislation that would restrict public access to 9-1-1 recordings, police photographs and names of witnesses in drug or violent crimes. Image
Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr. testifying against a bill that he says would erode the Freedom of Information Act. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

“If enacted, this would result in an unprecedented denial of previously available information, with no necessary relation to witnesses being threatened or endangered, and no relation to the security of an investigation,” Williams said. “It is a suppression of information for its own sake.”

It was just one opinion, but it came from the only leader who can single-handedly block legislation from coming to a vote in the Senate. Williams made a point of testifying before both committees where two similar bills are pending.

The legislation was produced by a legislative task force on victim privacy that was created last year as the families of some victims of the Newtown school shooting asked that photographs of the crime scene be forever kept secret.

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