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R.I. open records measure edges closer to Senate vote

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  1. Freedom of Information
Rhode Island’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted to continue debate on legislation to update the state’s open records law,…

Rhode Island’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted to continue debate on legislation to update the state’s open records law, but the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. J. Michael Lenihan, said he is confident the measure will head to the floor next week.

The proposed legislation would limit the time to three days instead of the current 10, with some exceptions. Police departments would have just 24 hours to respond to requests seeking arrest reports. Agencies facing larger and more complicated requests would see their time frame reduced from 30 days to 20.

The committee plans to continue debate on Thursday, according to Lenihan, who said this is the third or fourth time he has proposed such legislation.

“The best protection people have is to shine a light into the dark corners,” he said. “This bill ensures that if you’re arrested, someone out there will know what’s happened to you.”