Democrat legislators push constitutional amendment for access to public records


Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly introduced a bill Wednesday to amend the North Carolina Constitution to establish the right of access to public records and meetings.

House Bill 1075 and its Senate companion bill, SB 911, aims to disband a rule Republicans passed last year in the state budget that allows lawmakers to be the custodians of their records and arbiters of what constitutes a public record in their emails and other documents. It permitted destroying records if they do not consider them to be subject to public access.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Democratic leaders said they want it to be clear that government officials are beholden to the will of the voters. Bill sponsor Sen. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, called the provision “problematic” and said it allows legislators to destroy records without anyone ever knowing.

“I will say this about that provision. I think that most of our Republican colleagues understand why that particular piece of last year’s law is problematic,” said Meyer. “I think that furthermore, they probably agree with us, that that was an overplay of their hand in the restriction of the records and allowing them to be destroyed or sold.”

Keep reading