SC House panel advances public records legislation

Proposals aimed at ending governmental abuses of the state's open records law advanced Wednesday in the South Carolina House.

Legislation sent to the full House Judiciary Committee would require government entities to respond more quickly to requests, bar them from charging excessive fees, and create a way to settle disputes quickly and cheaply.

"It's designed to clean up the abuses that exist and are in practice today and make it easy for citizens to seek redress," said Rep. Weston Newton, R-Bluffton, the main sponsor.

Under the latest proposal, public bodies would have to respond to a public records request within 10 business days, and the information must be provided within 30 calendar days — unless the requested data is more than two years old. In that scenario, both can take five additional days. Continue>>>