North Carolina Press Association Supports Constitutional Amendment to Preserve Public's Right to Know

"Public records are the property of the people"


The North Carolina Press Association proudly supports a bill to amend the North Carolina Constitution designed to preserve the public's right to know and ensure transparency and accountability within government. This amendment mandates that authorities cannot restrict access to public meetings and records unless they can demonstrate that such limitations protect a compelling public interest.

This critical measure fosters trust in public institutions by ensuring that any restriction on access is both justified and necessary.

From the bill:

Access to public records and meetings.

The people of North Carolina have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business. Public records are the property of the people. Meetings of public bodies should be open to the people. The records made, transmitted, or received by public officials and agencies, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of State government and all bodies of local government, shall be open to public inspection, examination, and duplication. The meetings of all State and local public bodies shall be open to the public.

A statute, regulation, ordinance, rule, or other legal authority shall not limit the right of access to the meetings of public bodies and the records of public officials and agencies unless the public bodies, officials, or agencies can demonstrate that (i) a compelling public interest is protected by the limitation and (ii) the limitation is narrowly tailored to protect the public interest."

NCPA applauds SB911 sponsors Sens Meyer, Blue (Primary) Adcock, Applewhite, Batch, Bode, Marcus, Mayfield, Mohammed, Murdock, Salvador, and Smith, and HB1075 sponsors Reps Harrison, Staton-Williams, Prather, Longest (Primary) Autry, Ball, Busani, Everitt, F. Jackson, Majeed, Reives, Rudown and von Haefen for their efforts in moving this important legislation forward.