Georgia House approves rewrite of sunshine laws

Attorney General Sam Olens pushed House Bill 397, which would increase penalties for those who break the state's sunshine laws and make it easier to obtain civil sanctions against open records or meetings violators.

It would also add protection to governments against harassing requests for records and impose some new costs on obtaining records. Governments also would have the right to vote in closed sessions on settlements of suits, though once a settlement is affirmed, the government would have to vote for its acceptance in open session.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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