FOI Daily Dose: California likely limiting open records access, Ohio could conceal handgun license records
California likely limiting open records access
California lawmakers clashed June 19 over changes to the state’s open records laws slipped into the back pocket of the state budget bill earlier this week.
The 11th-hour trailer bill (see previous post) is aimed at reducing reimbursements to local governments when they provide public records, but California news organizations fear it will limit access by giving local governments free reign to stall records requests and avoid responding all together, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) proposed legislation Wednesday to rescind the bill’s negative side effects. But it was blocked in the Senate later that afternoon by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who proposed passing the original legislation and keeping Pérez’s bill “on hold” until they can wait and see if local governments actually withhold records, the Daily Bulletin said.
The Los Angeles Times reports Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the original measure.
Ohio could conceal handgun license records
The Ohio General Assembly may bar journalists from accessing concealed-handgun-license records unless they have a court order to review the information, according to The Oakland Press.
Under the current law, journalists can see the records containing the name, birth date and county of residence for handgun permit holders, but they cannot copy the information. The records are not available to the public at all, according to the Press.
Sen. Joseph Uecker (R-Loveland) defended the measure to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, telling them he decided to introduce the legislation last year after a New York newspaper published a map of gun-license holders. He wants to avoid a similar situation in Ohio.
“It is clear that journalists will not always utilize restraint,” Uecker told the Criminal Justice Committee. “Citizens across the country are looking to their elected officials for clarity.”
The bill is scheduled for a second hearing this week, the Press reported.