Senate Passes Public Records Bill

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The Vermont Senate has approved a bill designed to make it easier for residents to be reimbursed when they prevail in public records fights.

The bill would require state and municipal agencies to pay legal fees when residents are denied access to public records but sue and prevail in court.

Backers say that will give public agencies a better incentive to comply with public records requests.

Among its other provisions, the bill calls for an examination of more than 200 exemptions in the public records law to see if any can be eliminated.

The House already has approved a similar bill. If it disagrees with the Senate’s version, a conference committee will be appointed to work out the differences.

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