Massachusetts Senate Approves Overhaul of Public Records Law
BOSTON (AP) _ The Massachusetts Senate has approved an overhaul of a public records law that critics have called among the most outdated and cumbersome in the nation.
The bill passed on a 35-0 vote Thursday would establish new timetables for state agencies and municipalities to comply with public records requests. It would also reimburse legal fees to people who successfully challenge a government decision to deny a records request.
Agencies would have to deliver records electronically, whenever possible.
The state's current public records law dates to 1973.
The Senate also added amendments to the bill that would declare homeowner insurance rate requests and documents of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's retirement board to be public records.
Differences between the Senate bill and an earlier House version must now be worked out.