Fri., March 11, 2011 1:54pm (EST)

Sunshine Laws Revamp Pushed To '12
By Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA   —  
A bill to toughen Georgia's open meetings and records laws, known as sunshine laws, will have to wait for consideration by the state's General Assembly until 2012. (photo courtesy Joe Gratz)
A bill to toughen Georgia's open meetings and records laws, known as sunshine laws, will have to wait for consideration by the state's General Assembly until 2012. (photo courtesy Joe Gratz)
A move to re-write Georgia’s sunshine laws will not happen this Legislative session. Instead, the bills’ backers will take more time to craft the measure.

The bill would sharply increase fines for violations of open records and meeting laws. For example, an open records fine would jump from $100 to $1,000. The measure would also require people to take notes of certain closed meetings in case there's a future legal challenge.

Georgia attorney general Sam Olens backs the bill. He says because it got a late start in the General Assembly session, the House Civil Judiciary Committee will take-up the issue this summer.

“I think at that time it would be great to solve any and all issues…to have it immediately approved by the House January of ’12 and to have the Senate approve it during this next session also.”

Olens says the aim is to better clarify the laws for people, as well as for state and local officials.