Alpine Plans to Challenge State Open Meetings Law

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - Three cities and council members from 18 others are plotting a new challenge to state law requiring open government meetings.

Alpine City Attorney Rod Ponton says Pflugerville and Rockport councils have voted to join the challenge, as have council members from Lewisville, Carrollton, Boerne and 15 other cities.

However, the Abilene City Council voted 4-3 Wednesday to table a request to join the lawsuit. Ponton says he plans to file the suit in federal court in Pecos before year's end. He says prospective plaintiffs support the law, but with changes. Keith Elkins is executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

He says officials have nothing to fear from present law if they're "doing business out in the open."

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a similar lawsuit last month that had been filed by former Alpine council members. That was after the state and others the former officials lacked standing to challenge.