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145th General Assembly
Senate Bill # 58

Primary Sponsor: Peterson Additional Sponsor(s):    Reps. Kowalko & B. Short
CoSponsors: Sens. Connor & Sorenson
Introduced on : 04/07/2009
Synopsis:This Bill makes various amendments to the Delaware Freedom of Information Act in furtherance of the Act’s original intent to ensure that public business is performed in an open manner and that citizens are provided easy access to public records. Specifically, this Bill provides the following:
Section 1. Provides that the Attorney General shall represent administrative offices, agencies, departments, boards, commissions and officers of the State in matters arising from their official powers or duties, except those matters involving petitions to determine violations of the Freedom of Information Act. It further provides for the electronic publication of State Department of Justice opinions.
Section 2. Brings consistency to the determination of whether a record that is in the custody of more than one public body is exempt from disclosure by designating the public body that created or first received the record as the body responsible for determining if it is subject to disclosure.
Section 3. Clarifies that the purpose for which a document is sought is irrelevant under FOIA. It further provides a public body cannot discriminate among those who request access to public records.
Section 4. Ensures that the location for a public meeting is sufficiently large and has sufficient amplification, if necessary, to accommodate large number of citizens when a public body intends to discuss a matter of significant public interest.
Section 5. Clarifies that a public body must prepare minutes in a timely fashion.
Section 6. Enlarges the period of time for the Attorney General’s investigation and determination of possible FOIA violations from 20 days to 30 days. The current 20 day period is no longer practicable given the volume of FOIA complaints processed by the Department of Justice and the complexity of many of the factual and legal issues raised.
Section. 7. Permits the Attorney General to determine FOIA complaints made against state instrumentalities and officers.

Current Status: Stricken   On   05/06/2009
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Fiscal Notes/Fee Impact:Not Required
Amendments: SA 1 to SB 58 - PWB
Actions History:
May 06, 2009 - Stricken
Apr 07, 2009 - Amendment SA 1 - Introduced and Placed With the Bill in Senate
Apr 07, 2009 - Assigned to Executive Committee in Senate
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