An attempt to weaken Arkansas public records law fails in committee

A bill re-defining a public meeting passes on 11-3 vote

By Sonny Albarado, Arkansas Advocate, MARCH 29, 2023

Citizens prevailed over government secrecy Wednesday night in one of two skirmishes over your right to know.

After nearly three hours of testimony, much of it from citizens who identified themselves as Republicans, the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee rejected a proposal that would have “disemboweled” the state’s public records law, as one opponent described it.

House Bill 1726 by Republican Rep. David Ray of Maumelle would have exempted many documents, including police investigative files, available under the law today. It also would have made it much more expensive to obtain public records and given officials more time to comply with records requests.

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