Senate Bill 0092
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DIGEST OF SB 92 (Updated January 30, 2012 4:45 pm - DI 84)
Public access issues. Provides that a court may impose a civil penalty against: (1) an officer of a public agency or an individual employed in a management level position with a public agency; or (2) the public agency; for violating the open door law with specific intent to violate the law if the plaintiff obtained an advisory opinion from the public access counselor before filing an action. Provides that a court may impose a civil penalty against an officer, management level employee, or the public agency for violating the public records law if the officer, management level employee, or agency: (1) continues to deny a request for a public record after the public access counselor has issued an advisory opinion that instructs the agency to allow access to the public record; and (2) denies the request with the specific intent to unlawfully withhold a public record that is subject to disclosure. Provides that an individual or agency could be subject to a civil penalty if the individual intentionally charges a copying fee that the individual knows exceeds the amount set by statute, fee schedule, ordinance, or court order. Provides that a court may not impose a civil penalty unless the public access counselor has issued an advisory opinion that instructs the public agency to allow access to the public record before the lawsuit is filed. Provides that it is a defense to the imposition of a civil penalty under this section for a violation of the open door law or public records law if the individual acted in reliance on an opinion of the public agency's legal counsel or an opinion of the attorney general. Requires a public agency to provide copies of records within a reasonable time in consideration of the public agency's workload and difficulty in fulfilling the request. Provides that "education records" of a student at a state educational institution as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, may not be disclosed by the institution except to the student who is the subject of the records. Provides that if a local government agency has the capacity to send electronic mail, the agency shall provide notice to anyone (other than news media) that makes an annual request for notice by: (1) transmitting the notice by electronic mail; or (2) posting the notice on the agency's Internet web site (if the agency has an Internet web site). Provides that a court may not declare a governmental action void for failure to give notice by electronic mail or posting on the local government agency's web site, if the agency made a good faith effort to comply with the statute. Provides that a public agency may withhold personal information from public disclosure regarding an individual less than 18 years of age who participates in an activity conducted or supervised by a state educational institution, including personal information regarding the individual's parent or guardian. Requires (rather than allows) a court to review public records in camera to determine whether redaction of the records violates the public records act. Creates an education fund for a program administered by the public access counselor to train public officials and educate the public on the rights of the public and the responsibilities of public agencies under the public access laws. Provides that a public agency has discretion as to whether to disclose a public record requested by an offender containing personal information relating to a judge, law enforcement officer, or family member of a judge or law enforcement officer.
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| ||Passed 2nd reading - first House|
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