Parks introduces public records transparency bill

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Democratic state Sen. David Parks. (Facebook)
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Democratic state Sen. David Parks. (Facebook)

Sen. David Parks on Friday introduced a bill aimed at increasing government transparency by strengthening the Nevada Public Records Act.

First Amendment lawyers and advocates already praise Nevada for having strong open records laws in spirit, but have criticized the lack of punishment for government entities that fail to follow the law. The proposed bill, SB 287, seeks to end some of the tactics recordkeepers use to delay or stop records from being released. Those tactics include outright ignoring records requests, charging exorbitant fees for producing the records, and forcing lengthy and costly litigation related to their release.

“The goal is to eliminate the need for costly lawsuits and to simply have the government be fully transparent and accountable to the people it serves, which is what state law already requires,” said Maggie McLetchie, a Las Vegas-based lawyer who has worked on several notable public records lawsuits in the state, in a statement.

SB 287 is supported by a variety of advocacy and media organizations. Right to Know Nevada, a coalition supporting the bill, includes the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, Nevada Policy Research Institute, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The bill could be heard as early as next week.

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sb 143 is not only a attack on the 2nd Amendment but it also conflicts with the 8th as it has excessive fines and steps heavily on the 9th, by creating a law that is disparaging the rights of the second, so many people hold closely.
    This whole legislative session should be considered as null and void seeing as how many dems PERJURED themselves on their OATHS OF OFFICE to defend the Constitution, then attacked the the 2nd on one of their first few days in office. Do they even comprehend the Constitution? Their oaths of office? the same oaths leo’s take? And the governor and AG think they can strong arm the sheriffs into putting them into a position of perjury by enforcing sb143? Don’t Bloomberg Nevada. Piss on the people and tell them it’s raining. Criminals will never follow any laws in place. All this law is designed to do is to punish law abiding citizens.

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