State of State Public Records Laws
More often than not, requesters face crucial barriers to obtaining access to government records. Whether it be exemptions to records, access to certain areas of government, or grey areas within public records law, the rules to getting the documents differ across the board.
Within states, FOIA serves as a framework to public records law, yet, each state has the ability to create their own set of guidelines as they deem fit. Since many of our public records laws do not transcend state lines, being knowledgeable on your state laws is crucial in filing a records request.
In a goal to arm requesters with knowledge, we’re launching a new project page hosting state-by-state public record law stories and key players fighting for transparency in those states. Do you want to know what Tennessee lawmakers have to say about their 500+ state exemptions? Are you looking for your state’s costliest public records request? Or maybe you just want to know which legislatures are exempt from public records laws. Whatever your public record inquiries are, our new State of the State Public Records Law Project will give you a more comprehensive look at public records law in action.
Additionally, we want to make sure we’re highlighting your own public records stories. Let us know what’s happening with your state records law and share your own personal roadblocks to getting the documents. By filling out the form below, you can help contribute to our ongoing coverage of state law and help answer questions other requesters may have.
Before this month, if you won your public records lawsuit in Ohio you would get your records, but not necessarily win any attorney fees or statutory damages. Now, a new revision to the law overrules the outdated provision.
Following a historic midterm election, two ballot measures in western states passed, granting each jurisdiction new laws governing transparency and access to records.
Last month’s court decision in Virginia ruled that the state’s judiciary is exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The state joins 18 others in blocking transparency to this branch of government.