Two Texas Capitol aides who worked tirelessly to help craft open government legislation protecting the people’s right to know will receive the James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
Kelsey Erickson, general counsel to Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and Katy Aldredge, Capitol director for Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, will receive the award at the foundation’s annual state conference on Sept. 20 in Austin. Both worked behind the scenes over the past two years to assist Watson and Capriglione in successfully passing Senate Bill 943 and Senate Bill 944 in the 2019 Legislature.
The two pieces of legislation repair and strengthen the Texas Public Information Act. Senate Bill 943 ensures that citizens can find out how their taxpayer money is spent on private sector and non-profit contracts. Senate Bill 944 addresses several aspects of the state’s open records law and, among other things, assures public access to government documents contained in officials’ private electronic accounts and devices.
The James Madison Award honors those who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government. It is presented during the John Henry Faulk Awards Luncheon at the foundation’s Bernard and Andre Rapoport State Conference in Austin.
The annual conference will feature several discussion panels throughout the day on open government and free speech. The keynote luncheon speaker will be Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, chair of the Texas House State Affairs Committee, who will be interviewed by Bob Garrett, Austin bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News.
The public is welcome to attend. For conference registration or more information, go to http://foift.org.