F1

FOREWORD

FOREWORD

Open Records. On January 8, 2002, Acting Governor, Donald DiFrancesco, signed into Law a new Open Public Records Act ("OPRA").

The new statute makes significant improvements to the prior Right to Know Law:

 •  The law provides a succinct definition of "public record" which will assist custodians in providing access while at the same time excluding from the definition records not kept by a public officer in the course of his/her official business.

 •  The law provides a uniform system for requesting records and responding to requests as well as a time from within which the custodian must respond to the request — a significant omission in the prior Right to Know Law.

 •  The law preserves the existing court review of access disputes and provides a less expensive alternative administrative review, at the requester's option through the Government Records Council.

FOREWORD

The Connecticut General Assembly unanimously adopted the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") in 1975. Prior to that time, Connecticut had an open record and open meeting law, but FOIA was noted for making "sweeping changes" in that law so as to "mark a new era in Connecticut with respect to opening up the doors of the city and state government to the people of Connecticut." Bd. of Trustees v. FOIC, 181 Conn. 544, 550, 436 A.2d 266 (1980).

FOREWORD

The public policy behind passage of Michigan's Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. ("Mich. Comp. Laws Ann.") §§ 15.231 -.246, is set forth in its first section:

FOREWORD

Open Records. The Pennsylvania Open Records Law (popularly known as the “Right to Know” Act) was originally enacted in 1957. In 2002, the Pennsylvania Assembly amended the Act, setting forth for the first time a number of procedures and requirements governing, inter alia, requests, the agency’s response and appellate review.

FOREWORD

The first provision of the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act of 1974, D.C. Code Ann. § 2-531 et seq. ("D.C. Act"), emphasizes the public policy of open government that underlies the law. The D.C. Act provides that the

FOREWORD

In the mid-1970s, Minnesota's legislature chose to balance, by statute, openness in government with privacy interests of citizens who provide information to the government. The philosophy followed by the legislature was supposedly simple. All government data are presumptively public. The only data that are not public are data that are specifically exempted from disclosure under a specific provision of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), or some other state or federal statute.

FOREWORD

Open Records. Rhode Island enacted its open records statute, the Access to Public Records Act ("APRA"), R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 38-2-1 et seq., in 1979, making it the forty-ninth state to pass such legislation. The APRA was substantially amended in 1991 and 1998.

FOREWORD

At common law a person was entitled to inspect public records, including legislative, executive and judicial records, provided the citizen had an interest therein for some useful purpose and not for mere curiosity. C. v. C., 320 A.2d 717 (Del. 1974).

In 1977, the Delaware General Assembly adopted the Freedom of Information Act, 29 Del. C. § 10001 et seq. (the "Act" or "FOIA"). The Act's purpose is stated at the outset in what is titled the "Declaration of Policy":

FOREWORD

Two statutes govern access to government meetings and records in Missouri: (1) a statute commonly known as the Sunshine Law, Mo.Rev.Stat. §   610.010-.035 (together with the separately named Arrest Records Law, Mo.Rev.Stat. §§  610.100-.126), originally enacted in 1973; and (2) the Public Records Law, Mo.Rev.Stat. §§  109.180-.190, originally enacted in 1961.

FOREWORD

South Caroli na first adopted a freedom of information act to provide access to the meetings and records of governmental institutions in 1974. The first significant Supreme Court test for the act revealed substantial weaknesses in the law resulting in a major revision in 1978.