The Texas Senate tentatively approved a bill Friday that could end a lawsuit over the release of travel vouchers of Gov. Rick Perry's security guards.
Senate Bill 2154, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, would exclude from Texas' open records law the travel vouchers filed by an elected official's security detail. The vouchers can include information such as the number of officers on a trip and the names of hotels stayed in and airlines used.
"The idea made sense to me," Wentworth said. "I don't think it makes sense to divulge the governor's security detail. All that seems like potentially sensitive information."
It seems like the information is already mostly public. The costs are already known. Some of the sensitive details are just omitted. Maybe they should have a system where people can "check out" the information to review but not make copies of it, and they would also have to sign a confidentiality agreement. That way, there would be a record of who is looking at the information and not just any crazy nutjob could read about security details in the newspaper or on the internet and exploit them to cause a real tragedy. There definitely needs to be a balance between public information and safety of elected officials. Texas is ranked #1 in online transparency (link), so the reporters looking for this information are probably used to getting any information at any time for any reason.