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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Five-day window may jump to 15 days in Alabama

The sponsor of a bill that provides a government agency with five days to provide requested public records plans to replace it with a bill that increases the window to 15 days, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee passed a bill 9-0 that would give a government entity in the state five days to provide copies of public records requested from the public or the media. The bill now goes on to the full Senate for consideration.

The sponsor, Sen. Larry Dixon, R-Montgomery, said he reached a compromise with the Alabama Press Association, the Association of County Commissions of Alabama and other entities that would increase that window to 15 days. The committee passed the bill with a five-day window, but Dixon plans to substitute the bill on the Senate floor.

The senator said he arbitrarily chose five days. People have a right to those documents in a reasonable time, he said, but the agency needs time to assemble the request.

More here.

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