The state Legislature has passed a bill that will require nearly every government office across Tennessee to tell citizens how they can get public records.
The measure first directs the open records counsel in the state comptroller's office to come up with a model public records policy that local government agencies could adapt. The legislation would then require government offices to have a written public records policy by July 17, 2017.
The policy can't be less open than state law allows, and it should explain to citizens how to make a request to either inspect or copy public records and any fees charged for obtaining copies.
The primary sponsors of the bill were Sen. Richard Briggs and Rep. Bill Dunn, both Republicans from Knoxville.