Open Records Ad Hoc Committee meets on Thursday

The Joint Open Records Ad Hoc Committee will have it second meeting on Thursday as it tackles a review of exemptions to the Tennessee Public Records Act.

Last month, at its inaugural meeting, the committee heard a report from Jason Mumpower, chief of staff for the Comptroller’s Office, who explained a new compilation of all the statutory exemptions. He said there are now 563 exemptions in state law. (The last time a legislative committee conducted an exemption review was 30 years ago and when there were 89 exemptions.) The committee also heard a presentation and recommendations from TCOG.

Several people are scheduled to give presentations on Thursday including:

  • Janet Kleinfelter, senior counsel with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office
  • Jack McElroy, co-chairman of the Tennessee Press Association’s government affairs committee
  • David Conner, executive director of the Tennessee County Services Association
  • Amy Garner, vice president / CCO of West Tennessee Healthcare
  • Dick Williams, state chairman of Common Cause
  • Doug Pierce, general counsel for Tennessee Association of Broadcasters
  • Heather Stewart, associate general counsel of Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Matthew Scoggins, general counsel of University of Tennessee
  • Blake Farmer, board member of Society of Professional Journalists, Middle Tennessee Professional Chapter
  • Jeremy Elrod, director of government relations for Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association
  • Robb Harvey, board member of Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.
  • Marian Ott, board president of the League of Women Voters, Tennessee

The committee has been asked to review the growing list of exemptions. While it has included discussion and recommendations on its agenda, the committee is still in the early stages and is expected to have additional meetings after this one.

The co-chairs are Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, and Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville.

Zachary is chairing the Thursday meeting.

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