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State sunshine laws

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State sunshine laws are the laws in each state that govern public access to governmental records. These laws are sometimes known as open records laws or public records laws, and are also collectively referred to as FOIA laws, after the federal Freedom of Information Act.

If you are looking for the laws that regulate open meetings in each state, please see State Open Meetings Laws.

Please select a state from the map or list below.


Nevada Open Records ActAlaska Public Records ActHawaii Uniform Information Practices ActArizona Public Records LawUtah Government Records Access and Management ActNew Mexico Inspection of Public Records ActColorado Open Records ActWyoming Sunshine LawCalifornia Public Records ActOregon Public Records LawWashington Public Records ActIdaho Public Records ActMontana Public Records ActNorth Dakota Open Records StatuteSouth Dakota Sunshine LawNebraska Public Records LawKansas Open Records ActOklahoma Open Records ActTexas Public Information ActMinnesota Data Practices ActIowa Open Records LawMissouri Sunshine LawArkansas Freedom of Information ActLouisiana Public Records ActMississippi Public Records ActAlabama Public Records LawWisconsin Open Records LawIllinois Freedom of Information ActTennessee Open Records ActKentucky Open Records ActIndiana Access to Public Records ActMichigan Freedom of Information ActOhio Open Records LawGeorgia Open Records ActFlorida Sunshine LawSouth Carolina Freedom of Information ActNorth Carolina Public Records LawVirginia Freedom of Information ActWest Virginia Freedom of Information ActPennsylvania Right to Know LawNew York Freedom of Information LawVermont Public Records LawNew Hampshire Right to Know LawMassachusetts Public Records ActRhode Island Access to Public Records ActConnecticut Freedom of Information ActNew Jersey Open Public Records ActDelaware Freedom of Information ActMaryland Public Information ActDistrict of Columbia Freedom of Information ActMaine Freedom of Access ActUS map.png

The law in each state

Aspects of the laws

Proposed changes to the laws

See Proposed reforms in state sunshine laws, 2010.

Evaluating websites for sunshine law information

Find your state or county at Sunshine Review

Sunshine Review's transparency checklist incorporates a section for the affirmative disclosure of the following information, which is critical for submitting public records requests:
Required:

  • When a citizen wants to file an open records request, which employee handles those requests?
  • What is that employee's contact information?
  • The school district website should provide this information in a very easy-to-locate position on their website.
  • The school district website should lay out the procedure for a citizen to follow who wants access to public records.
  • The information should be user-friendly.

Recommended

  • The school district website should include an annual rating of its FOIA compliance: How many requests did it receive in a given year, how many did it comply with, the average time required for compliance, and reasons for denials. If the school district is currently being sued for failure to provide public documents, this information should be included.
  • If the school district has been ordered by a judge or public records ombudsman to provide documents it refused to produce in response to a public records request, this information should be a permanent record posted on the school district's website.