Douglas signs public records access bill

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Governor Jim Douglas has signed into law a bill regarding access to public records.

The bill would prohibit the administration or the Legislature from keeping records by claiming a “deliberative process privilege.”

Using that terminology, the administration has refused to release some records because they were prepared as a specific policy was being developed.

The administration has said releasing them would hinder full and open debate in the future.

But the Legislature says government should be more open and it passed a bill taking away that privilege.

Douglas says he wishes the bill also would have covered the judicial branch and municipal government.

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