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Public records, and their burden

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The point of the state’s critical Public Records Act is that government does not decide what the people should know or not know about it. The law’s oft-quoted preamble states the principle — the public has not surrendered control of the agencies that serve them. They do not give public servants the right to decide what is good for them to know, or not know. The records of government are public, and must be available on request unless specifically exempt. In the 40 years since its passage some public agencies have been working to turn that law inside out. Someday they could succeed. In this legislative session they could take a step closer to the goal.

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