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The Ohio Open Records Law

Policy Statement #1

Realizing the sometimes difficult burdens placed on local governments in Ohio by state mandates, retired and current mayors of eleven Cuyahoga County municipalities have joined to create a forum for considering the impact of proposed state legislation on local jurisdictions. Organized on July 20, 1994, the Mayors' Think Tank, in conjunction with The Ohio Urban University Program's Center for Public Administration and Public Policy at Kent State University, determined to conduct public policy research on current topics affecting local government. For their first topic, they chose to study the impact of HB696, Revisions to Open Records Law.

During the Fall Semester 1994, two graduate students in Public Administration, under the direction of a Public Administration faculty member, conducted in-depth research on HB696. This research included reviewing existing law, and telephone interviews with sources close to the intent of the current bill, and with local officials who would feel the direct effects of its passage.

Results of the research were presented to the Mayors' Think Tank on December 7, 1994. After careful review and discussion of the data presented, the mayors present came to consensus on the following resolution. Though they are aware that the current legislation, HB696, is no longer viable, they are compelled to voice their concerns in the event that a new version of this legislation is introduced in the next House session beginning in January 1995.