Georgia passes new open records law impacting public school athletics

A bill allowing public school athletic departments in Georgia to have increased time to respond to open records requests was signed into law by governor Nathan Deal on Monday.

The law, which impacts the University of Georgia, provides up to 90 business days to respond to open records requests, as opposed to the three business days that were previously granted. The reported reason for the amendment concerns requests for recruiting information.​


New Jersey pays gun rights group $100K in State Police permit case

The state Attorney General's Office has paid a New Jersey gun rights group $101,626 in legal costs and released documents describing the state's firearms background check process after fighting their disclosure in court for years.

The payment was ordered by a judge after a lengthy legal battle between the state and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, which was seeking the State Police's guide for local departments performing checks on those applying for gun permits.


Op-ed: Wisconsin’s open records law remains under siege, assault

Here's an idea: State government's top criminal investigator should follow—and not try to circumvent—the open records law.

But former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall, who is on paid leave as director of the state Justice Department's Criminal Division while investigators determine how he responded to alleged assaults at the state's prison for juveniles, tried to end-run the records law.


Nevada legislators exempt from public records law

The ability to access public records is an essential tool in a democracy. Public records give the public a peek at truths that are sometimes never told during public meetings.

But, according to the Legislative Counsel Bureau of Nevada, Nevada’s legislators are exempt from certain public records requests. 


South Carolina Senate panel OKs bill requiring faster FOIA responses

A South Carolina bill that would force public bodies to respond more quickly to state Freedom of Information Act requests is headed to the Senate floor after approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The 17-1 vote for a favorable report on the bill comes after years of attempts by lawmakers to reach agreement on changes to the law governing access to public records in the state.


Advocates: Bill could shield too much from Georgia open records law

A bill that passed the state Senate and is barreling toward passage in the House would expand an exemption to the state’s public records law in the name of economic development, but open government advocates fear the bill could be used to justify secrecy in far more than recruiting companies.

The bill, SB 323, would allow any state agency to conceal documents about economic development projects involving business expansions of $25 million in investment or 50 jobs. After a deal is signed or negotiations terminated, the records would become public.


Wisconsin open government advocates hit the road to boost understanding, use of open records laws

Residents across Wisconsin are invited to free events exploring the importance of open records laws, and how to use them to obtain critical information about the actions of government.

The eight-city “Open Government Traveling Show” by open government advocates comes in the wake of unprecedented attacks on open records laws from state lawmakers and others.


CJR: Here’s the backstory to a bill allowing Virginia police to keep officers’ names secret

If you follow transparency and open-records news, you might have heard about what’s going on in Virginia, where the state Senate last week approved a bill to make the names and training files of law-enforcement officials “excluded from mandatory disclosure” under the state Freedom of Information Act.