Rep. Canales to be honored as “Champion of Transparency” at 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at Edinburg City Hall


Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who has authored, sponsored, and voted for legislation designed to strengthen public knowledge about the actions of local and state governments will be honored as a “Champion of Transparency” by the Texas Press Association.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, will begin today (Sept. 20 2018) at 2 p.m. and take place in the City Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, located 415 W. University Drive.

Canales was first elected in 2012 to serve as state representative for House District 40 and will begin his fourth two-year term in the Texas House of Representatives in 2019.

“I have a proven track record of fighting for open-government legislation during my five years as a state lawmaker, through carrying measures that bear my name, and through my work in House committees and on the floor of the House of Representatives, where I have always spoken in favor and voted for dozens of measures that protect the people’s right to know about what our local and state governments are doing in our name with our public resources,” said Canales.

In general, open-government is a set of beliefs that all government business should be open to regulation and scrutiny by the public.  The Texas Public Information Act and the Texas Open Meetings Act are the two most powerful sets of laws in the state regarding public disclosure of actions of local and state governments.

During the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, Canales authored one of the few proposals dealing with open government and public information that became state law.

As a result of Canales’ House Bill 214, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals are required to dramatically improve the ability of the public to see what is going on in the two Austin-based powerful trial courts.

“Recording and broadcasting courtroom proceedings can promote transparency and allow the public to evaluate the efficacy of the judicial system,” explained Canales. “To increase the public’s access to the judicial branch, H.B. 214 builds upon previous policies by requiring the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to make video recordings of their oral arguments, and any open meeting the courts have, and publish the recordings on their respective websites.”