After pushback from coalition, Delaware lawmaker rethinks FOIA ‘abuse’ bill

A Delaware lawmaker who backed a bill to give government officials more power to deny Freedom of Information Act requests is reconsidering the bill after open government advocates raised objections.

The Delaware Coalition for Open Government opposed the bill, saying the new exemptions would make the state “one of the most restrictive states (if not the most restrictive) to request public information.”

The bill seeks to empower government officials to declare some public records requests “unreasonably broad, unduly burdensome, abusive,” and to deny such requests.

“Out of respect to our shared interest in an open and transparent (government), I have paused this legislation to continue conversations,” Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Talleyville, wrote in a June 12, 2021. “I believe we can find a solution that preserves the sanctity of our FOIA process while addressing its abuse.”