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Email bill rolls in House committee

By Deborah Fisher • Mar 2, 2017 at 11:07 PM

A bill that would require government entities to accept public records requests they receive by email, if they already use email as an official mode of communication, was rolled a second week in the House State Government Committee.

The email bill, HB58, passed out of subcommittee. State Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville, filed an amendment to be considered during the full committee meeting.

The amendment added a section aimed at what government entities have sometimes complained are frivolous requests. Here is what was added:

“If a person makes two or more consecutive requests to view a public record, and, for each request, the person fails to view the public record within 15 business days of receiving notification that the record is available to view, the records custodian is not required to comply with any public records request from the person for a period of six months from the date of the second request to view the public record unless the failure to view the public record was for good cause; and if a person makes a request for copies of a public record and, after copies have been produced, the person fails to pay to the records custodian the cost for producing such copies, the records custodian is not required to comply with any public records request from the person until the person pays the records custodian for such copies if the records custodian provided the person with an estimated cost for producing the copies in accordance with subdivision prior to producing the copies and the person agreed to pay the estimated cost for such copies.”

Discussion of the proposed legislation continued Tuesday morning during the committee’s bill review pre-meeting, focusing mainly on the requirements surrounding accepting email requests. A new amendment is expected to be filed.