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Saturday, August 14, 2021
Open-records law restored, but transparency still needed
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 5:10 AM :: 1862 Views :: Ethics, First Amendment, COVID-19

Akina to Perry: Open-records law restored, but transparency still needed

From Grassroot Institute, Aug 11, 2021

Institute President Keli’i Akina rode again this week with “Perry & The Posse”on KSSK radio, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, and one of the big topics of discussion was the ongoing coronavirus lockdowns.

Interviewed by Michael W. Perry, Hawaii’s top-rated morning radio host, Akina acknowledged state officials have a role in protecting public health.

“But at the same time,’ he said, “we’ve got to balance that with the need for liberty and protecting our rights. In terms of the management of the lockdown, it’s like we’re taking two steps backward and one step forward at the same time. It’s been about 525 days since the first lockdown began, and that was supposed to have ended after about [60] days. It’s going on forever.”

Akina lauded that Gov. David Ige finally lifted his suspension of the state’s open-records law, but lamented that it took so long. He suggested that maybe now we can learn more about how — and by whom — the “emergency” has been managed.

He said that early during the lockdowns, the institute requested copies of the governor’s communications about the lockdowns.

“We didn’t get it. Our request was put on ice during that time. We had these suspended public transparency laws.” With the suspension lifted, he said, “it’s going to make our job a lot easier.,”

“But here’s the real problem,” he continued. “We still have not been able to figure out why certain measures are enacted, or why it is that you can walk along the sidewalks, but if you put your foot across onto the grass in the park, you’d be in violation of the law, and so forth. Who makes these decisions? What data is it based on? That simply is not out there, and we really need more transparency.”

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Related: ​Ige Lifts Suspension Of Hawaii’s Open Government Laws

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