Plan to change Nevada open records law met with resistance

CARSON CITY — A bill proposed by the Nevada attorney general’s office to categorize and make it easier to identify exemptions to public records disclosure was met with confusion and suspicion Thursday by members of the Assembly Government Affairs Committee.

Assembly Bill 42 was the product of an interim public records working group to clarify what types of records are not subject to disclosure, said Brett Kandt with the attorney general’s office.

He said the bill is modeled after federal guidelines for Freedom of Information Act requests and lists exemptions by categories, instead of being scattered throughout statutes.

“FOIA organizes exemptions under subject matter categories,” Kandt said. He said the working group thought adopting a similar model in Nevada would make public records law more friendly and transparent.

But some committee members questioned whether some language in the bill left too open for interpretation and discretion.

“It was never our intention through this proposal to change any exemptions, Kandt said. “To the extent the proposal may have done that, it was inadvertent and contrary to our intentions.”

Some amendments were discussed and no action was taken by the committee.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.