Right to know ombudsman bill hits Democratic opposition in House Finance committee
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After years of rocky starts and stops, a longstanding effort to establish a state official to resolve right-to-know disputes got a pair of victories this month, only to be dealt a serious blow on Wednesday.
Earlier this month two mirror proposals to create an ombudsman to resolve right-to-know conflicts picked up bipartisan votes in the House and the Senate, the latter in a unanimous decision.
On Wednesday, Democrats on the House Finance Committee expressed concerns around the feasibility of the proposal, and in a 13-8, party-line vote, recommended killing House Bill 729. The bill would allow citizens and organizations who had not received a timely answer to a records request to seek redress through the ombudsman, working under the Secretary of State’s office who would eventually deliver a verdict as a potential alternative to action in Superior Court.