General Assembly passes pro-public access legislation

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Near the midnight hour on March 9, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation that will allow a judge to levy a civil fine against a public official who deliberately violates the Open Door Law or Access to Public Records Act.

Lawmakers inserted the pro-public access language into H.B. 1003 at the urging of HSPA.

The bill next must be signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels before it would become law on July 1, 2012.

Under the bill passed, a judge could assess a fine of up to $100 against a public official who deliberately violates a public access law. Repeat offenders could be ordered to pay up to $500.