Tennessee legislators see the light

The Tenneessee state legislature has been revising its open records law this session. The revisions contained a controversial provision which would have mandated that the records custodian who received a records request must notify any “public officials” who were the “target” of the request that it existed. That provision has been scrapped. Presumably, the attitude that citizens looking for information on how their government works are “targetting” politicians when they do that remains in force.

Other provisions in the bill that’s under consideration:

  • Custodians would have no more than 7 days to respond to requests. Currently, there is no time limit.
  • To request a Tennessee record, you must be a Tennessee resident.
  • An agency would be able to charge for time spent searching for records if the time exceeded five hours.
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