With several members of the House of Delegates looking to amend the Maryland Public Information Act in different ways, the Health and Government Operations Committee decided to hear all their proposals on one day, February 22, to include the following bills:
HB0042 - Del Guyton - Public Information Act - Applications for Inspection - Responses and Time Limits
· This bill would shorten the timeline for a response to PIA requests to just 7 days.
HB0372 - Del Carr - Public Information Act - Required Denials for Specific Information - Sociological Information
· This bill would exclude an individual’s personal address from the definition of “sociological information” as it pertains to the mandatory denial provision of PIA law.
HB0380 - Del R. Lewis - Public Information Act - Denial of Part of a Public Record - Investigations by Inspectors General
· This one would add to the list of discretionary denials, the ability to deny “records of investigations conducted by or an investigatory file compiled by inspector general whose office is created by State law or the laws of a political subdivision of the State.
HB0502 - Del Lierman, et al - Public Information Act - Revisions
· Based on the PIA Ombudsman’s recommendations, this bill would expand the Public Information Act Compliance Board’s authority to resolve disputes in a cheaper, more timely manner than the courts and includes language that would allow the Board to relive custodians from abusive or frivolous requests.
Also of note, HB0401 (Del Barron) was originally scheduled to be heard the same day, but has been reassigned to the Judiciary Committee and will be heard on February 12, 2020.
MML staff expects at least one more PIA bill to make this list before the hearing date. Please don’t hesitate to contact Justin Fiore, MML Government Relations Manager, with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.