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Press Release
February 16, 2007
Contact: Melissa del Bosque
(512) 463-0120 office
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa Files Bill to Allow Greater Access to Government Documents, Save Money for State Government

AUSTIN -- Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa filed SB 446 to implement an Open Document Format for all government documents in Texas to insure that documents in Texas are free and accessible to every Texan.

SB 446 levels the playing field for multiple software providers and saves money for Texans since they will not have to buy specific software to access government documents.

Senator Hinojosa said his bill will ensure that public documents are accessible to everyone in the future, and that Texas can manage its government documents in the most cost affordable way.

"As a representative of the people of Texas, I want to insure that our historical documents and our future government documents are always accessible to the people they belong to," Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said. "Senate bill 446 allows our documents to be presented in an open format. Most Texans don't realize that the fine print in corporate licensing agreements is creating a legal barrier that could deny access for future generations down the road."

Jake Knoblach, founder of Uptime Computing, based in Austin, said that he was pleased to hear that Texas will be among the first states to begin using an open document format.

"Texans can be proud today knowing that Sen. Hinojosa understands that our government cannot be truly open when the people's documents are kept in closed digital formats," Knoblach said.

Open Document Format (ODF) is available for free and compatible with several different software packages. Massachusetts has already adopted Open Document Format for all of its government documents.