SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature is looking at two bills that would curtail access to public records.
Both measures have advanced through the legislative process without opposition at any stage. Lawmakers say they're protecting people's privacy, but government transparency advocates worry about adding even more exemptions to Oregon's public records law.
The two new exemptions would join more than 400 that already exist in Oregon's public records law, up from just 55 when the law was first adopted in 1973 in the midst of the Watergate scandal.
Access to information is critical for the public to know what public officials are up to, what decisions are being made and whether government is operating efficiently, said Tim Gleason, former dean of the University of Oregon journalism school who is now special assistant to the provost.
But he said lawmakers have steadily added exemptions to the public records law without any analysis about "the impact of this bill-by-bill erosion of public access."
"In isolation, each one of these seems like a good idea," Gleason said. "It's only when you look at the cumulative effect that you begin to see the serious problem."
Trimet of course says they are 'protecting the public'
We believe them of course (NOT!)