Texas Senate OKs Bills Opposing Rulings Limiting Open Records Laws

NBC 5 News

The Texas Senate has approved two proposals seeking to rollback recent state Supreme Court rulings that advocates say weakened open records laws.

Passed 31-0 on Tuesday was Sen. Kirk Watson's bill mandating that governmental entities disclose contracts and other bidding process agreements.

It would effectively undo the so-called "Boeing decision" in 2016, where the Texas Supreme Court ruled that such records didn't have to be made public, citing competitive advantage concerns.

A second bill by Watson, an Austin Democrat, was approved 28-3. It opposes a 2015 state Supreme Court ruling involving the Greater Houston Partnership.

Watson said that allowed entities fully and partially publicly funded to keep how they spend public money secret.

Echoing free-speech advocates' objections, Watson said the ruling blew "a gaping hole" in Texas' Public Information Act.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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