October 30, 2012 11:18 AM
From Gambit New Orleans News and Entertainment:
An article in the Monroe News-Star last May about a controversial faith-based school getting approved for hundreds of taxpayer-financed vouchers has ignited a legal conflagration over Louisiana's Public Records Act and Gov. Bobby Jindal's ongoing efforts to keep the public's business under wraps. The dispute began as a public records squabble between the News-Star and the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE), but it has since escalated to include major media outlets across the state, the LSU Board of Supervisors (which has refused to turn over documents relating to draconian cuts to LSU-run hospitals) and the governor's office.
The Louisiana Public Records Law requires a response to all document requests within three business days. It further requires immediate disclosure if records are readily available. If the records are not readily available, the law gives a public body three days to make it available. If a response to a request is not received within five business days, the requestor is allowed to sue — and potentially recover attorneys' fees.