Bills to restrict public access to records move forward

Sunday, March 13th 2005, 2:24 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Bills that would restrict the public's access to state agency records are moving their way through the Oklahoma Legislature. The bills' progress comes despite concerns from media representatives who oppose the measures.

The Oklahoma Press Association is tracking a handful of bills this year because of possible new exemptions to the state's Open Records Act and Open Meeting Act.

Negotiations between lawmakers, state agencies and the press association tamed a number of bills contrary to the public's right to know. Some other measures died in committee.

One bill that would restrict public access to some Department of Public Safety records has moved out of a House committee and is headed to the full House for a vote.

Another bill that passed the Legislature this week exempts most state Office of Homeland Security records unless it specifically applies to the way the agency spends money.