A group of local legislators are trying to protect researchers and scientists at the state’s higher education institutions public records requests prior to completing their research. On Tuesday, a bill sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (Dist. 37-South Kingstown, New Shoreham), was heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a companion House bill introduced by Rep. Carol Hagan-McEntee (Dist. 33-South Kingstown, Narragansett), has been held for further study.
The state’s Access to Public Records (APRA) law already exempts ‘preliminary drafts, notes, impressions, memoranda, working papers, and work products’ from requests from the public. Bills S 0177 and H 5098 would clarify the statute to include ‘those involving research at state institutions of higher education on commercial, scientific, artistic, technical, or scholarly issues, whether in electronic or other format.’