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Bill exempting U.Va. donor information passes both chambers

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  1. Freedom of Information
Two bills that would allow the University of Virginia to keep private the names of donors who ask for anonymity…

Two bills that would allow the University of Virginia to keep private the names of donors who ask for anonymity when making gifts have passed their respective chambers.

The bills, HB 407 and SB 130, now cross over for consideration by the other chamber. A compromise measure could reach the governor’s desk as early as the last week in February, said Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association.

If enacted, the bill would grant the school an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act to withhold an indeterminate amount of personal information about their nearly 450,000 donors.

The information at hand includes Social Security numbers, marital status and net worth, which should remain private, according to open government advocates. The information they content should not be hidden are the names of those donors who wish to remain anonymous, whose contributions add up to about $74 million of the $3 billion total donation amount.