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Oklahoma's governor supports open records with veto of Senate measure

A Senate bill that would have given state higher education institutions additional exemptions to the state Open Records Act was vetoed Wednesday by Gov. Mary Fallin.
by Randy Ellis Published: April 17, 2014
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A Senate bill that would have given Oklahoma’s higher education institutions additional exemptions to the state Open Records Act was vetoed Wednesday by Gov. Mary Fallin.

“The expansion of exceptions to the Open Records Act serves only to limit public access to information,” Fallin said in her veto message.

The Open Records Act exemptions higher education institutions were seeking through Senate Bill 1577 concerned things like proprietary information, business plans, trade secrets, marketing plans and similar information that might be submitted by individuals seeking economic advice.

Fallin, however, said the confidentially of such items is already covered by a state law that says no public agency is required to produce records if “disclosure would give an unfair advantage to competitors.”

“Because these concerns are protected by current law, the expansion of exceptions to the Open Records Act is not necessary,” Fallin stated.

by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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