Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today announced that she has submitted proposed legislation to begin the process of cleaning up the state’s public records laws.
“I am pleased with this first step toward an overdue reform of Oregon’s public records laws,” Rosenblum said.
The proposed legislation is informed by more than nine months’ work by the Attorney General’s Public Records Reform Task Force. The Task Force members come from a variety of backgrounds, including the media, state and local governments, as well as public members.
The proposed legislation tackles three major policy areas: 1) Creating clear time frames for responses to public records requests; 2) making sense of more than 500 exemptions spread out among Oregon laws that currently prevent disclosure of otherwise public documents; and 3) developing a strong policy statement that would encourage courts and public officials to favor public access to the work of our government. The task force will continue working on important public records issues, including the cost of obtaining public records.
“It is important to emphasize that we cannot implement these suggested reforms without the active support and involvement of our Governor and the legislature,” Rosenblum said. “I am grateful to the Governor and Secretary of State, Senators Lee Beyer and Jeff Kruse, Representatives Ken Helm and John Huffman, and all of the task force members for their contributions to this important work.”
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002