Rhode Island’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved legislation to update the state’s open records law.
The proposed bill 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.
Public agencies not complying with these time limits would face fines of $15,000, up from the current $1,000.
Another major facet of the legislation includes requiring all state agencies to train employees who are designated to respond to records requests and show in writing that the training occurred. Additionally, individuals would not have to identify themselves when seeking public documents or say why they’re asking for them.