Frank LoMonte Comments on Alabama Public Service Commission Restrictions on Meeting Coverage
Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, was quoted in “Alabama Utility Commission to Consider Ban on Recording Meeting” posted on Birmingham, Alabama public radio station WBHM-FM’s website.
The article features restrictions that the Alabama Public Service Commission has established for coverage of meetings.
According to LoMonte, the restrictions are similar to those of judicial bodies and trial courts and the Public Service Commission, which regulates state utilities, is governed by Alabama’s Open Meetings Act, whether it is conducting a meeting or a hearing.
“That would be a very unusual and extreme policy for any type of an executive branch agency,” LoMonte said. “The state Open Meetings Act is very clear that the right to attend the meeting includes the right to non-disruptively make a recording of it.”