Proposal to update open government law poised for passage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- It's been nearly three years since the Tennessee Waltz corruption scandal led to demands for stronger open government laws. Now the Legislature is poised to approve a measure to improve access to public records.

At the same time, efforts to strengthen laws requiring local governments to conduct their business in open meetings have been jettisoned for at least another year.

This year's legislation includes a provision to write an open records ombudsman into law. It would also create a four-day deadline for government agencies to respond to records requests -- or to explain why they need more time.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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