At the Legislative Committee meeting held on January 8, 2020, members voted to oppose a bill that would drastically shorten the timeline for municipalities to respond to and fulfill Public Information Act requests. Senate Bill 67 and House Bill 42 (identical legislation) would reduce the current 30-day compliance period to just seven, with an initial response for more time or for a denial of inspection reduced from ten days to five.
The bill is scheduled to receive a hearing in the Senate on January 21, 2020. MML staff has begun conversations with the bill sponsors, Senator West and Delegate Guyton, about the merits of their legislation and potential amendments they’re considering.
The Municipal Clerks Association has already produced a letter of opposition for the Legislative Committee, and the Municipal Attorneys Association is expected to do the same. Both have committed a representative to join MML staff at the upcoming hearing.