The latest issue of theOpen Government Report from the Ohio Coalition for Open Government is now online.

The latest issue of the Open Government Report from the Ohio Coalition for Open Governmentis now online.

Warning: The contents may be disturbing if you believe in theability of transparency toempower an informed citizenry to keep its government accountable and in check.

Lawyers David Marburger and John C. Greiner, who specialize in open-government law, dissect five recent Ohio Supreme Court rulings on public-records. Only one ruling favored sunshine over secrecy.

Other articles detail Ohio General Assembly efforts, both passed and pending, to enable more government secrecy and erect other obstacles to obtaining information.

The climate for transparency is chilly at the moment -- and shows no signs of thawing.

Lawmakers want to add another reason – economic development – to allow governmental bodies to shutthe public out of meetingsand retreat behind closed doors.

Another bill would make lists of concealed-carry gun permit holders confidential. Reporters now are the only ones allowed tolook at the lists (and can’t obtain copies of even take notes) and it appears even that minimal oversight may be revoked.

As The Cincinnati Enquirer noted in a recent editorial: “Open, transparent government is a foundation of democracy. But the foundation is slowly being chipped away in Ohio. Little by little, nick by nick, state leaders are chipping away Ohio’s Open Records Law ...”

(Disclosure: I am a trustee of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government)