When people in government or public policy talk about sunshine, they’re usually not referring to the weather, but the ideal of government transparency. The idea is that light shining on government acts like a disinfectant, promoting health and vigor in a functioning democracy.
That’s the principle behind Sunshine Headquarters, a continuing initiative of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, or PAR, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that studies state issues.
PAR’s Sunshine Headquarters is an online home for helpful information that citizens can use in making requests for public records and understanding the state’s Open Meetings Law, which generally requires that public bodies conduct business in full public view. The website also offers information on campaign finance disclosures. Several key resources at the website are offered in multiple languages, including Spanish and Vietnamese. The website also includes links to information about securing federal documents; here, citizens can learn about their rights under the federal Freedom of Information Act. Additionally, PAR’s Sunshine Headquarters offers links to the latest news about potential violations of sunshine laws.
We salute PAR for making this information available to citizens. PAR’s Sunshine Headquarters is available through its website, http://www.parlouisiana.org.