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Vermont gets serious about enforcing its FOI law

The state of Vermont has taken a big step in the direction of more open government by amending its FOI law to allow for awards of attorney's fees to successful requesters. Why does this matter? Recalcitrant government agencies generally are not at risk for penalties for improperly withholding records. (Indeed, one can argue that they actually have disincentives to disclose, but that's another matter.) Few requesters, having been denied records, have the motivation and financial resources to hire a lawyer and file suit.

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