A new bill was recently filed in the NC legislature that deserves praise, and Civitas discusses why in this article. A sample:
Let’s give three cheers for two North Carolina Senators. Last week state Sens. Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover) and Tom Apadoca (R-Buncombe) sponsored legislation (SB 125) to make it a class 3 misdemeanor to violate public records and open meetings laws, which would at long last give those laws some teeth.
Many state and county agencies do a good job of responding to requests. Still, there are some who flout the law. Rather than provide information in a timely fashion, bureaucrats offer delay tactics or provide one of umpteen reasons as to why the document will be delayed or won’t be available. Thus, obtaining public records often becomes a game of stalling versus perseverance. Sadly, the government office that uses these tactics is often successful. Citizens don’t have the time or money to keep after officials – and the agencies know it.
Civitas staff members are very familiar with the stalling and stonewalling tactics of state government agencies in response to records requests. State employees often go to great lengths to keep supposedly public information under wraps, SB 125 would hold these employees accountable and hopefully make state government much more responsive and transparent to the very people that pay their salaries.