Secretary of State Jim Condos announces launch of the history of the Vermont’s public records law

For immediate release

Contact: Nancy T. Lynch, 802‐828‐2148

Secretary of State Jim Condos announces launch

of the history of the Vermont’s public records law

Montpelier, VT ‐ Secretary of State Jim Condos, in continuing his focus on access to Vermont’s public records, announces the launch of a new web presentation on the history of the Vermont’s public records law. This is part of an ongoing effort by the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA), a division within the Secretary’s office, to create greater understanding of the laws governing access to public records and, by extension, our right to know.

Secretary Condos noted that “VSARA initially focused on the origins of the various exemptions to the public records act. This should assist the legislative study review of those exemptions – the committee begins its work on Wednesday July 27. We hope, as resources allow, to keep adding to the information on not only exemptions, but also the other sections within 1 V.S.A. §§ 315 – 320.”

The presentation includes reports, testimony, case law, and the original acts that make up the public records law. Looking at the original acts, for example, allows a viewer to see how records bills were amended during legislative deliberations.

Secretary Condos explained that, “The ultimate goal of this project is to use public records to better understand our public records laws. It is occasionally striking how few records there are for understanding the intent of the law. In some cases we hope to find documentation that was not immediately accessible. Indeed, by putting this up as a work in progress we hope Vermonters can help us identify court cases, reports and other records that we may be able to use.” He went on to say, “One of the reasons I ran for secretary of state was to promote access to public records; this presentation is a partial realization of that commitment.”

The presentation can be found on homepage for the secretary of state’s office http://www.sec.state.vt.us/ and on VSARA’s website under continuing issues:

http://vermont‐archives.org/govhistory/governance/publicrecords/introduction/index.htm

The presentation complements an earlier effort by VSARA to create a “right to know database”:

http://vermont‐archives.org/records/access/database/

Scott Reilly and Louise Corliss of the VSARA staff, along with Alex Cawley, put the presentation together.

Secretary of State Jim Condos has over 20 years of elected public service, including 18 years at the local level and 8 years as a Vermont State Senator, in addition to more than 30 years of private sector business experience.

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