Open records bill amended | NevadaAppeal.com

Open records bill amended

JOE MULLIN
Associated Press Writer

Authors, journalists and other citizens who want to access public records should have an easier time under a bill Nevada lawmakers passed Friday – unless they’re trying to get records from the state’s Gaming Control Board.

The Senate Government Affairs Committee passed SB123, which would establish timetables for public agencies to respond to records requests. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, a lawyer and former journalist who said he was motivated by government agencies who have ignored public records requests.

The amended bill gives government agencies five days to comply instead of two, and deleted sections that would cause the government to automatically waive confidentiality rights under certain circumstances.

The bill also allows for confidential government documents to be made public by a court order if those records are more than 30 years old.

Before passing the bill, the Republican-controlled committee adopted another amendment, over Care’s objection, exempting documents controlled by the Control Board. Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, said that without the exemption, he wouldn’t support the bill.

“The Gaming Control Board investigations, unlike anything else, are without limitations” in their investigations, said Raggio. “Your life is like an open book. They go into so much stuff that isn’t necessary for the public to ever know.”