Kirk Watson Advances Open Government Bills

The Texas Tribune has reported that Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, has attached several open government initiatives to a single bill designated HB 2328, which has passed the Texas Senate. The amended bill now goes back to the House for its approval. The provisions now attached to HB 2328 include:

  • getting rid of the requirement for a governmental body to get an attorney general opinion before withholding information under the Public Information Act, if it makes a good faith determination that an exception applies.

  • changing the Public Information Act’s exception for contract bids, so that the exception doesn’t apply once a contract is awarded.

  • including some contractors in the definition of a “governmental body” obligated to respond to record requests.

  • mandating public access to government information stored on privately-owned accounts and devices.

  • providing that public records containing dates of birth can still be disclosed.

  • creating a procedure for the Attorney General to compel a response to a public records request.

The Tribune has the full story.

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