House Majority Office
For Immediate Release
March 20, 2008
Contact:Rep. Ted Koffman, 288-8930
Lori Eschholz, legislative aide, 287-1430
Travis Kennedy, communications director, 287-1433
Rep. Koffman, Sen. Rotundo honored with inaugural Sunshine Awards
AUGUSTA – The Maine Freedom of Information Coalition honored Rep. Ted Koffman, D-BarHarbor, and Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Androscoggin, Thursday with its inaugural Sunshine Award. The legislators served as co-chairs of the first two legislative Freedom of Information Study Committees.
The study committee made significant positive changes to Maine’s right to know law, including requiring that any legislation proposing an exception to the law be reviewed by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee. Mal Leary, president of the MFOIC, said that the legislation is the first of its kind in the nation and is being used as a model across the country.
“Working with the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and other interests on the Freedom of Information Study Committees was one of the most rewarding experiences of my legislative career,” said Koffman. He stressed the importance of maintaining access to government information for both members of the media and the general public.
Leary said Koffman and Rotundo were chosen for the awards because of their work on the committees and “their steadfast support of open government legislation through their legislative careers.”The awards were given in conjunction with national Sunshine in Government Week. Gov. John Baldacci also proclaimed March 16-22 Maine Sunshine Week.
The Maine Freedom of Information Coalition was founded eight years ago by individuals and groups concerned about openness in government. Members of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, the Maine Press Association, the Maine Broadcasters Association and the Maine Civil Liberties Union all came together to advocate for open government in Maine.