Senate Finance Committee votes to add 2 open records jobs

Friday, February 12, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 7

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee has voted to approve funding for two new positions in Tennessee government to help clear a backlog of open record questions.

A recent comptroller's audit documented more than 600 open or pending cases where citizens or governments made requests to the Office of Open Records Counsel, which helps people obtain government records.

The office was created in 2008, but after its full-time lawyer left in 2014, its duties have been covered by another staffer in Comptroller Justin Wilson's office.

Wilson has requested nearly $265,000 in the budget to help with the growing number of requests for information. He says Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has not yet committed to the new spending.

The Senate Finance Committee approved the change on a voice vote Tuesday.