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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Access to public records. Requires a public agency to respond to a request to inspect or copy a public record not later than seven working days after the request is made. Allows a public agency to extend by not more than 30 days the time within which the agency must grant or deny a request or provide the records if the agency: (1) responds within seven working days; and (2) specifies the reason that an extension is necessary. Requires a person to file a formal complaint with the public access counselor before filing an action in court to compel disclosure of a public record. Provides that a formal complaint must be filed with the public access counselor not later than 15 days after a request to inspect or copy a public record is denied and that an action must be filed in court not later than 60 days after a request is denied. Provides that a prevailing plaintiff in an action to compel disclosure of a public record may collect attorney's fees and court costs only if the defendant's denial of access to the public record was arbitrary and capricious. Establishes the public access education fund. Provides for a civil penalty of $1,000 against the person designated by a public agency as being responsible for public records release decisions for the public agency, if the person knowingly or intentionally denies access to a public record in violation of the public records law. Requires that any civil penalties collected be deposited in the public access educational fund. Repeals a provision that states that a formal complaint concerning access to public records need not be filed with the public access counselor before an action is filed in court.