Francke, Terry


Since 1980 Terry Francke has been helping journalists, citizens and public officials understand and use their First Amendment, open government and public information rights. Francke and his daughter, Emily, founded Californians Aware, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization in the spring of 2004. This article originally appeared on CalAware Today, and is republished with permission.

New Judicial Branch Rules, New Calls for Scrutiny

Terry-Francke.gifBy Terry Francke
General Counsel and Founder
Californians Aware

With 5 p.m. Friday set as the deadline for submitting comments on proposed new rules providing public access to administrative records of judicial branch agencies, legislative scrutiny of statewide court administration is reaching an unprecedented pitch this week.

Yesterday, reports Robert Lewis in the Sacramento Bee , " Judges, law enforcement officials and union workers joined together to release an accountability plan for the Administrative Office of the Courts, calling on the Legislature to increase the agency's openness and ensure that state courts do not have to close one day a month."

Key Protections for Whistleblowers, Sunshine, and Free Speech Pass Assembly

Terry-Francke.gifBy Terry Francke
General Counsel and Founder
Californians Aware

In a very encouraging hour or so for public forum law , bills with new protections for aggrieved government whistleblowers, open government law enforcement, and speech and press freedoms won approval today in the Assembly Judiciary Committee; three of the four are headed for their final stop on the Assembly floor before going to the Governor.

All are Senate bills already passed in that house. Three of the four are authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), whose office reports their progress as follows:

Looking For More Openness in Legislative Talks

Terry-Francke.gifBy Terry Francke
General Counsel and Founder
Californians Aware

While "Big Five" negotiations between the governor and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Assembly and state Senate have increasingly been the key to bipartisan pacts on budgets and other significant legislation, a recent arrival to the Big Five has demanded changes to the process, reports the Press-Enterprise in Riverside.

A Call For California To Lead the Way on Smart Transparency

Terry-Francke.gifBy Terry Francke
General Counsel and Founder
Californians Aware

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today ordered the Internet posting of all state contracts valued at $5,000, as well as internal and external audits of state departments and agencies, including information on operations, budget and programs, dating back to January 1, 2008.

Executive Order S-08-09 thus adds a new component to the Reporting Government Transparency website, which already shows the statements of economic interests and travel expense claims of for the Governor’s office senior staff and deputies, agency secretaries, agency undersecretaries and department directors.

According to a press release from the Governor's office, the added posting will begin soon.