|(Photo credit: wallyg)|
Local government officials in 15 communities, including Wichita Falls and Sugar Land, have been fighting the measure for more than six years on First Amendment grounds, and are weighing an appeal before the entire 17-judge Fifth Circuit. (See "TUOL" posts 7/29/10 & 12/15/09.)
Discussing public business behind close doors, the appellate court wrote, "would decrease government transparency, and the state has determined that the benefits of making these discussions public outweigh any harm done by the disclosure of information." TOMA does not apply to the governor, executive-level policymakers or the state legislature, the Chronicle article noted.