Bills proposed in Oregon to limit access to public information

Oregon State Flag

 

SALEM, Ore. – Several Oregon lawmakers have introduced bills cutting off access to certain public records.

One would block public access to information about bedbug infestations. Others would keep private the identities of lottery winners and information about public-employee retirement benefits.

A legislative committee advanced the bedbugs measure on Wednesday. It was requested by Multnomah County officials who said pest-control companies would only agree to disclose information about bedbug treatments if they could be certain their customers’ identities wouldn’t be publicly released.

County officials say they don’t currently collect information about bedbug infestations so the public wouldn’t lose access to information that’s currently available.

Oregon’s public records law has more than 400 exemptions that government agencies can use to avoid releasing public documents to taxpayers, up from 55 exemptions in 1973.