Georgia Sunshine Law revision draws comments

September 1, 2011

From Rome News-Tribune:

ATLANTA — Complaints of illegal government secrecy have more than doubled during last year, Attorney General Sam Olens told the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

He was testifying about legislation he drafted to update the state’s Sunshine Law that requires state and local government meetings and documents to be public except in limited exceptions. His proposal, House Bill 397, would boost the fine for violations to $1,000. The current fine for withholding documents is $100 and $500 for illegal meetings.


One media attorney was not enthusiastic about the whole notion of revising the Sunshine Law. Hollie Manheimer, executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation [a member of NFOIC — eds.], told the committee the legislation could become a way for open-government opponents to attach amendments that weaken the current law.

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