The public’s right to request access to records from any federal agency has been law since 1967, when the Freedom of Information Act was enacted.

West Virginia has its own Freedom of Information (FOIA) law, giving access to public records to anyone requesting them. As with the federal act, the state law does have exemptions.

Today marks the start of Sunshine Week, a national initiative launched by the American Society of Newspaper Editors to increase awareness about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. The week is held every year to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate of the Bill of Rights.