Proposed transparency legislation, 2009 OH-WY
For a complete list of states proposing reforms to their Sunshine Laws, see proposed reforms in state sunshine laws, 2009 AL-KY and proposed reforms in state sunshine laws, 2009 LA-ND.
We do not currently have any legislation from this Ohio in 2009. To add some, please see WikiProject Proposed state sunshine legislation.
- House Representative John Carey (D-Durant) proposed House Bill 1049 that "seeks to clarify that police should make incident reports available to the public, even if there are no arrests." Executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association Mark Thomas is in favor of the bill since "the way some local police jurisdictions have interpreted the law, no incident reports are required unless someone is taken into custody." He said in some circumstances, that essentially permits “secret police actions” with no public accounting, and making it clear that incident reports are required could solve the problem. HB1049 has passed the House, and moves to the Senate for further debate.
- The Oklahoma House of Representatives Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee is considering a bill that would allow the chief medical examiner to withhold the public release of autopsy reports at the request of a district attorney or law enforcement agency if the records may impede an ongoing criminal investigation.
- See also: Oregon Public Records Law
- "House Bill 2118 requires health professional regulatory boards to keep confidential personal e-mail addresses of licensed professionals.
- House Bill 2339 allows a district attorney, a deputy district attorney, the attorney general or an assistant attorney general to request nondisclosure of their home address, home or cellular telephone number or personal electronic mail address.
- House Bill 2315 allows the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to withhold investigative information until an investigation is completed and the department issues a report, unless public interest requires disclosure.
- House Bill 2369 exempts from disclosure routine police traffic accident reports.
- House Bill 2390 exempts geographic fisheries information submitted to a public body from disclosure.
- House Bill 2495 exempts from disclosure employer account records of the State Accident Insurance Fund Corp.
- House Bill 2727 unconditionally closes concealed handgun license records.
- House Bill 2764 closes concealed handgun license records unless the public interest requires disclosure.
- Senate Bill 13 (like HB2369) exempts from disclosure routine police traffic accident reports.
- Senate Bill 158 allows the Department of Human Services to keep confidential investigatory records related to complaints against medical professionals after the investigation is completed and a report has been filed.
- Senate Bill 179 exempts from disclosure estate records obtained by the Department of State Lands during the search for an heir.
- Senate Bill 618 exempts military discharge records from public records disclosure."
House Bill 2727 would prohibit public bodies from releasing information that could be used to identify holders of or applicants for concealed handgun licenses. Bill sponsors describe the measure as an "effort to protect gun owners." The bill has the support of "half of the members of the Legislature, both Democrats and Republicans, signing on as co-sponsors." Newspaper The Oregonian has editorialized opposing the bill, saying that "a list of vague fears and discomfort about public access to these records" is not reason enough to prohibit public access.
- Create a comprehensive, free, searchable website for the state budget.
- Salary categories for state workers, contracted programs and performance outcomes.
- State Representative Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay).
- State Representative Jefferson Smith (D-Portland).
- State Representative Kim Thatcher (RKeizer,Newberg, St. Paul).
- Press release announcing the Open Books Oregon Project
- Ore. lawmakers call for spending records to be posted online, Associated Press, February 9, 2009
- SB 105 Pennsylvania Taxpayer Transparency Act This bill would direct the Office of Budget to create and maintain a free and searchable budget database website.
- SB 107 Pennsylvania Governmental Salary Information Act This bill would require the state Treasurer to post salary information for all state employees on a public website.
- SB 101 Increasing Penalties for Sunshine Laws violations
- SB 109 Taxpayer-funded advertising disclosure
- SB 110 Improving Information in state plane logs
House Bill 3537 seeks to require South Carolina school districts to pay for random performance audits meant to ensure that district spending is consistent with stated district goals. This bill was inspired by a controversy in Spartenburg District 7 where the board secretly decided to pay a country club $325,000 so that district golf teams could play there.
House Bill 1135: Authorizing Posting on the Internet
Senate Bill 143: Creating a Website for Access to Public Records and Financial Information
Senate Bill 143, proposed by Sen. Jason Gant (R-Sioux Falls) and signed into law by Governor Mike Rounds on March 30, 2009 requires the continued operation of Open South Dakota. SB 143 requires the state to maintain a searcheable website that provides public access to the financial information of the state, municipalities, counties, school districts and other political subdivisions.
Senate Bill 144: Requiring State Contracts to be Posted Online
Senate Bill 144, proposed by Sen. Gant was signed into law by Governor Rounds on March 30, 2009. The bill requires all state contracts involving the expenditure of money to be posted online on the Open South Dakota website.
Senate Bill 147: Public Access to Records
In 2008, the Better Government Association ranked South Dakota as 50th in the nation for transparency. However, things began to around for South Dakota when Governor Rounds signed Senate Bill 147 on March 30, 2009. Prior to the passage of SB 147, the prevailing presumption in South Dakota was that all public records were confidential with the burden of proof resting on a requestor to prove that he or should have access to a certain record. Once the bill goes into effect on June 1, 2009, South Dakota will join the majority of states where the presumption is that all records are public unless specifically exempted as confidential.
The bill lists approximately 25 specific types of records as exempt from ready disclosure. These include such things as medical and personnel records, litigation documents, the phone records and memoranda of legislators, and some financial information from private entities seeking to do business with the state.
Reaction to SB 147
SB 147 has garnered praise from the South Dakota Newspaper Association and the Argus Leader Executive Editor Maricarrol Kueter. Kueter said: "The bill is a giant step forward in openness and would bring our state in line with most other states in transparency. Knudson has done an excellent job." The editorial board of the Daily Republic have endorsed SB 147, asking "Who could vote “No” on Senate Bill 147?" Meanwhile, Yvonne Taylor, an official with the South Dakota Municipal League, suggests that the bill goes too far, and that her group will support it only with exceptions built in.
House Bill 53: Exempting Handgun Permit Applications, Class E Felony
House Bill 53, introduced by Rep. Eddie Bass (D-Prospect), tried to make information related to handgun permits and applications exempt from public records and make the publication of such information a felony. This bill was withdrawn on February 12, 2009.
House Bill 221: Exempting Handgun Permit Applications, Class A Fine Only Misdemeanor
House Bill 221 is Rep. Bass' second attempt at exempting concealed-carry permit holders from the Tennessee Open Records Act. House Bill 221 only differs from the previously withdrawn House Bill 53 in that unauthorized publication of permit information would result in a fine-only misdemeanor and carry a maximun fine of $2,500, rather than being classed as a felony.
House Bill 405: Exempting the General Assembly's Emails
House Bill 405 was introduced by Rep. Henry Fincher (D-Cookeville)and seeks to exempt legislator's emails from public scrutiny. The bill was introduced in response to an open records request received from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. Its companion bill in the Senate is Senate Bill 713
Senate Bill 713: Exempting the General Assembly's Emails
Senate Bill 713 was introduced by Sen. Reginald Tate (D-Memphis) in response to an open records request received from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. It seeks to exempt legislator's emails from public scrutiny. Its companion bill in the House is HB 405.
Senate Bill 280, proposed by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), seeks to exempt birth dates of public employees from public disclosure. The bill has been referred to State Affairs. The stated reason for seeking the exemption is to prevent identity theft, but journalist Jennifer LaFleur points out birth dates "play a big role in journalists' ability to inform you about government agency hiring practices."
State Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) has proposed Senate Bill 503 to close up a loophole in the current law which allows school districts to deny PIA requests for the names of individuals applying for the position of school superintendent. The current language states school districts are only required to reveal the “name or names of the finalists being considered for the position”. Use of the “name or names" clause can result in only the individual being named to the position's name being released, rather than the full list of applicants.
Representative Ismael "Kino " Flores (D-Palmview) has asked the Texas Legislative Council to draft legislation that would add elements to the Texas Public Information Act. His aim is to require Texas Regional Mobility Authorities to make their meeting agendas and back-up documents available online. A Regional Mobility Authority is a public entity created to serve counties on transportation issues. "The work of the RMA leadership is of such vital public interest that, under my measure, all Texans would have the ability to begin viewing on the Internet, three days before a RMA meeting, the full agenda packet from which the RMA board members make their critical decisions," Flores stated in a press release.
House Bill 122, proposed by Rep. Douglas Aagard at the request of the Attorney General's Office, seeks to prohibit the weighing of public interest in documents against the government's desire to conceal information. It would also allow records to be withheld if they are associated with pending or "anticipated" litigation. Steve Bloch, an attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, says that "This bill is a step backward and would restrict our current law significantly." HB122 has advanced from committee to the House floor 7-3 along party lines, with Republicans voting for it, and Democrats against. HB122 also passed the House, 43-27. It now moves to the Senate for debate.
The Salt Lake Tribune has editorialized against the bill, calling it "an attempt to subvert that system and the public's interest in holding government accountable."
Senate Bill 18 would require all cities, counties, school districts, and special districts (transit districts, water districts, etc.) in Utah to regularly post their expenditures online in a searchable format.
SB18 was voted out of the Utah Senate by a 29-0 margin on February 2, 2009.
House Bill 1799 would create a "Fraud & Abuse Whistle Blower Protection Act" and make any complaints made under that act exempt from FOIA requests. Passed the House on January 30, 2009, referred to Senate General Laws.
House Bill 1845 proposes a pilot program in Prince William County where the clerk of the Circuit Court is permitted to assess a fee for accessing public land records. Passed the House on February 6, 2009.
House Bill 1879 seeks to change the methods of notice regarding public meetings in localities with a population over 100,000. The bill would allow for public notice to be made via websites or public access television rather than in the newspaper. HB 1879 failed to report from subcommittee.
House Bill 1935 would exempt from public disclosure company licensing applications and supporting documentation received by the State Corporation Commission. This bill has passed the House, and was referred to Senate Commerce & Labor.
House Bill 2144 restricts information held by the Department of State Police for purposes of entry into the Virginia Criminal Information Network to law enforcement personnel. Would exempt the state datebase of concealed weapon carry licenses from public disclosure. This bill has passed both House and Senate, and now waits for the Governor's signature.
House Bill 2266 would expand an existing FOIA exemption for zoning complainants personal information to include complaints relating to the Uniform Statewide Building Code or the Statewide Fire Prevention Code. HB 2266 passed the House on January 30, 2009 and was referred to Senate General Laws.
House Bill 2269 would require that all expenditure reports that school boards give to their governing bodies also available to the public. Passed the House, referred to Senate Education & Health.
House Bill 2285 creates a pilot program (Virginia Enterprise Applications Program or VEAP) that would build a searchable online database of state incomes and expenditures. Engrossed by House February 9, 2009.
House Bill 2471 provides that the disclosure of the names of individual teachers is not required under FOIA in response to a request for the official salary or rate of pay of employees of a local school board. It was recommended to send the bill to the FOIA Council.
House Bill 2639 exempts certain records of the Department of Veterans Services and the Veterans Services Foundation from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Passed the House on February 6, 2009.
Senate Bill 934 Provides that no legislative action on the budget can be taken until details have been posted on the General Assembly's website for at least 72 hours. The bill was left in Finance.
Senate Bill 935 (House Bill 1845) proposes a pilot program in Prince William County where the clerk of the Circuit Court is permitted to assess a fee for accessing public land records. Passed Senate February 6, 2009.
Senate Bill 936 (House Bill 2285) creates a pilot program (Virginia Enterprise Applications Program or VEAP) that would build a searchable online database of state incomes and expenditures. Reported from Finance, February 5, 2009.
Senate Bill 1014 (House Bill 2266) would expand an existing FOIA exemption for zoning complainants personal information to include complaints relating to the Uniform Statewide Building Code or the Statewide Fire Prevention Code. Rolled into SB1478 (see below), February 4, 2009.
Senate Bill 1285 would require local governing bodies and local school divisions to publish the estimated required local match in the publication of the annual school budget. Reported from Local Government, February 3, 2009.
Senate Bill 1305 would exempt from the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act public assistance fraud investigations conducted by the Department of Social Services and local social service departments. Reported from General Laws, February 4, 2009.
Senate Bill 1316 Strikes the requirement to publish an index of computer databases and amends the requirement to publish a statement of rights and responsibilities to ensure that the public can find out generally what types of public records a public body has and what exemptions may apply to those records. This bill is a recommendation of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council. Reported from General Laws, February 4, 2009.
Senate Bill 1317 requires that any electronic communication meetings (teleconference) shall be held in compliance with the provisions the Freedom of Information Act, except that a quorum of the Board is not required to be physically assembled at one primary or central meeting location. This bill is a recommendation of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council. Reported from General Laws, February 4, 2009.
Senate Bill 1319' clarifies that minutes of public meetings must be in writing. This bill is a recommendation of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council. Reported from General Laws, February 4, 2009.
Senate Bill 1332 Provides that a private entity that operates, manages, or supervises any portion of the state highway system shall be considered a public body for purposes of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
Senate Bill 1344 Amends an existing records exemption for economic development records to include records related to the retention of existing business, and to allow the exemption to be used by all public bodies subject to FOIA. The bill makes corresponding amendments to the existing meetings exemption that allows discussion of such records in closed meetings. Reported from General Laws, February 4, 2009.
Senate Bill 1478 Provides a record exemption under the Freedom of Information Act for the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of complainants relating to Uniform Statewide Building Code or Statewide Fire Prevention Code enforcement made to the local governing body. Reported from General Laws, February 4, 2009.
A raft of new legislation to change the state's law has been introduced in the 2009 legislative session.
- SB 5119 - Eliminate the Washington Sunshine Committee.
- SB 5130 - Prisoner access to public records. Sen. Mike Carrell (R-Lakewood) is the sponsor and says he has concerns that the current law (which allows prisoners to file FOIA requests) may be too liberal.
- SB 5249 - Changing public records request provisions.
- SB 5250 - Increases the maximum per page copying charge under the public records act.
- SB 5251 - Defines per page cost for the purpose of copying costs under the public records act.
The Seattle Times editorialized against the three bills proposed by Sen. Darlene Fairley (D-Shoreline): SB5249, SB5250 and SB5251, calling their common theme of increasing the costs of obtaining open records "a move sure to discourage people with the right to keep tabs on their government."
- HB 1017 - Creating a committee to study the feasibility of creating a board with public records act and open public meetings act responsibilities.
- HB 1105 - Regarding public disclosure of records relevant to a controversy to which an agency is a party.
- HB 1106 - Removing the ability of agencies to enjoin the examination of a specific public record.
- HB 1107 - Regarding local government self-insurance programs and public records.
- HB 1181 - Regarding prisoner access to public records.
- HB 1288 - Exempts the annual parental declaration of intent to home school from the public disclosure act.
- HB 1316 - Provides a court procedure to enjoin the production of public records the court deems were made for the purpose of harassment.
- HB 1317 - Governs the disclosure of public records containing information used to locate or identify employees of criminal justice agencies.
- HB 1471 - Removing the public records exemption for certain records addressing public sector collective bargaining.
- Senate Bill 252 seeks to exempt certain disclosures under Freedom of Information Act. Same as HB2418.
- House Bill 2418 - "Relating to exempting certain records of the Division of Corrections and Regional Jail Authority from the Freedom of Information Act that, if released, could aid inmates in committing unlawful acts." Same as SB252
- Proposed reforms in state sunshine laws, 2009 AL-KY
- Proposed reforms in state sunshine laws, 2009 LA-ND
- HB1049 history, use the "Basic Search Form" to find HB1049 and click on "Introduced" for the bill's text
- Oklahoma Press Association official wary of attempts to tweak state's Open Records Act, Enid News, January 25, 2009
- Enid News, New bill would ensure the public's right to know, February 27, 2009
- KSWO-TV, "Committee postpones open records bill," Feb 4, 2009
- Legislature should resist chipping away at access, Oregon Live, March 7, 2009
- Text and Status of HB2727
- Bill would shield concealed weapons permits, Mail Tribune, February 18, 2009
- Ore. lawmakers move to close gun permit records, Associated Press, February 21, 2009
- For state legislators, it's all about concealment, The Oregonian, March 12, 2009
- Text and Status of HB3537
- Audits and information, Go Upstate, February 16, 2009
- Text of HB 1135
- Text of SB 143
- South Dakota Legislature, 2009 Session - Bill History
- Text of SB 144
- The Volante, South Dakota Amends State Records Statute, April 1, 2009 (dead link)
- Text of SB 147
- South Dakota Legislature, 2009 Session - Bill History
- Measure calls for open records, Argus Leader, January 30, 2009
- Measure calls for open records, Argus Leader, January 30, 2009
- No good reason to oppose government transparency, Daily Republic, February 7, 2009
- Open records debate on tap, Associated Press, February 16, 2009
- Text & Status of HB53
- Text & Status of HB221
- Lawmakers get new shot to close gun permit records, Associated Press, February 24, 2009
- Text & Status of HB 405
- Johnson: General Assembly seeks to close inboxes to public, Knox News, February 27, 2009
- Text & Status of SB 713
- Text and Status of SB280
- Plan to hide public employees' birth dates may also hide criminal records, Dallas Morning News, February 11, 2009
- Summary of SB503
- Bill Would Close Much Abused Loophole When It Comes To Releasing The Names Of Finalists For Superintendent Positions, Capitol Annex, January 22, 2009
- Legislation to extend state open records law could be a tough sell, ABC-7, February 10, 2009
- Regional mobility authorities post on internet their full agenda packets under planned Flores bill, Press release, February 5, 2009
- Text of HB 122
- Status of HB 122
- Bill would cut off access to some records, Salt Lake Tribune, February 3, 2009
- Panel OKs bill weakening public access to government records, Salt Lake Tribune, February 10, 2009
- Less-public records? House endorses GRAMA revision, Salt Lake Tribune, February 18, 2009
- Public records, Salt Lake Tribune, February 12, 2009
- Text of SB18
- Text and status of HB1799
- Virginia Coalition for Open Government 2009 legislative roundup
- Text and status of HB1845
- Text and status of HB1879
- Text and status of HB1935
- Text and status of HB2026
- Text and status of HB2043
- Text and status of HB2144
- Gun legislation awaiting Kaine's signature, NV Daily, February 27, 2009
- Text and status of HB2181
- Text and status of HB2266
- Text and status of HB2269
- Text and status of HB2285
- Text and status of HB2421
- Text and status of HB2427
- Text and status of HB2471
- Text and status of HB2549
- Text and status of HB2639
- Text and status of SB880
- Text and status of SB934
- Text and status of SB935
- Text and status of SB936
- Text and status of SB1014
- Text and status of SB1285
- Text and status of SB1305
- Text and status of SB1316
- Text and status of SB1317
- Text and status of SB1319
- Text and status of SB1332
- Text and status of SB1344
- Text and status of SB1478
- Sunshine returns to D.C., clouds gather in Olympia, News Tribune, January 25, 2009
- Eliminating the public exemptions accountability committee
- Prisoner access to public records
- Bill seeks to halt records 'fishing', Seattle Post Intelligence, February 11, 2009
- Public records request provisions
- Increases maximum per page copying charge
- Defines per page cost for the purpose of copying costs under the public records act
- Use technology to provide public records cheaply, Seattle Times, February 9, 2009
- Creating a committee to study the feasibility of creating a board with public records act and open public meetings act responsibilities
- Regarding public disclosure of records relevant to a controversy to which an agency is a party.
- Removing the ability of agencies to enjoin the examination of a specific public record.
- Regarding local government self-insurance programs and public records.
- Regarding prisoner access to public records.
- Text of HB 1288
- Text of HB 1316
- Text of HB 1317
- HB 1471 History
- Text of HB 1471
- Text & Status of SB252
- Text & Status of HB2418