- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two lawmakers from eastern Tennessee have received the 2014 Open Government Award from state newspapers for opposing efforts to weaken the state’s open records and public meetings law.

The Tennessee Press Association presented the awards on Thursday to Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, and Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, during the organization’s annual winter meeting.

The two lawmakers sponsored legislation that requires public notices to be published in the local newspaper, posted on the newspaper’s website and on an aggregate statewide website operated by TPA. They opposed proposals to move public notices from newspapers to the government websites exclusively.

TPA President Lynn Richardson, publisher of the Herald & Tribune of Jonesborough, cited the two lawmakers’ “broad commitment to the values of government transparency and press freedom.”