DC lawmakers propose bill to limit public records requests

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chair of Washington, D.C.’s City Council has proposed an amendment to the city’s 2020 budget that would severely limit access to public records.

The Washington Post reports the legislation would allow the city to reject record requests that don’t include specifications about the sought documents, including the subject matter, names of senders and recipients and a date range. It would only permit the disclosure of information “regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees.”

Chairman Phil Mendelson says the Freedom of Information Act “wasn’t intended for fishing expeditions.” His proposal comes after the newspaper requested email records through FOIA and found that Councilman Jack Evans used his government email to pitch himself to area lobbyists, citing his power as the city’s longest-serving lawmaker.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

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