Home  |   About us  |   Partner with AWC  |   Login      


Welcome to AWC’s online library of Legislative Bulletin and CityVoice news articles and other updates.

Published on Friday, February 22, 2013

Update on public records and open meetings bills

After the first legislative cutoff, AWC’s priority public records bills remain alive. HB 1128, protecting essential services from public records abuses, remains in the House Rules Committee and has until March 13 to be considered by the full House. HB 1037, providing cost recovery for commercial requests, was referred to the House Appropriations Committee and needs committee consideration by March 1.

We’ve reported on a number of other open government bills considered this session. The following bills are still moving through the legislative process:

  • HB 1198 requires elected officials, members of governing bodies, and public records officers to complete training on public records and open meetings. The training would be developed by the Attorney General, and other trainings could be certified as meeting the training requirements.
  • HB 1418 allows public agencies that do not maintain office hours for a minimum of 30 hours per week to post directions about how to make public records requests. The directions must be posted at the agency’s headquarters and on the agency’s website, if the agency maintains one.
  • SB 5171 clarifies that information about child sexual assault victims that is exempt from disclosure is not limited to the child’s name, address, location, and photograph. It also exempts information contained in gang databases.
Other bills appear to not be moving after the first cutoff, including:
  • HB 1197 would have required governing bodies to allow public comment before any final action. This included emergency actions and routine actions, such as approving agendas and minutes. The bill also required all meeting materials to be posted on the agency website or to be available when the meeting begins.
  • HB 1714 would have allowed public agencies to record executive sessions. It also would have allowed a court to order a public agency to record executive sessions upon a finding that the agency intentionally violated the Open Public Meetings Act.