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Transparency groups ask 5 states to stop blocking out-of-state records requests

Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Tennessee and Virginia all are known to restrict records requests based upon residency.

Published: March 12, 2024 11:16pm

(The Center Square) -

The Right on Transparency coalition is asking five states to stop restricting public records requests based on residency.

Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Tennessee and Virginia all are known to restrict records requests based upon residency. The coalition has published model policy to change those laws.

“Barring non-state citizens from the open-records process offends the people’s foundational right to access government information,” the coalition wrote in a statement. “The fact a potential requester lives in a different state should not determine his or her ability to request public records. State policy choices often have impacts beyond a state’s borders.

“More importantly, first principles of good government, such as ensuring accountability for decision-making, counsel in favor of broad access to public records. . . . Most states do not have such limits, and they process requests from out-of-state requesters without issue.”

The proposal is endorsed by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Beacon Center of Tennessee, Better Cities Project, Goldwater Institute, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, National Taxpayers Union, Parents Defending Education and Southeastern Legal Foundation.

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