OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5463

AN ACT CONCERNING REQUESTS FOR RECORDS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND APPOINTMENTS TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION.

SUMMARY:

This bill lengthens, from two to four years, the term for legislatively appointed members of the Freedom of Information Commission. This conforms their term lengths to those of members the governor appoints. By law, the commission has nine members, five appointed by the governor and one each appointed by the Senate president, House speaker, and the Senate and House minority leaders.

The bill also allows requests for copies of records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to be made orally, but gives public agencies the discretion to require that they be in writing. In Planning & Zoning Commission v. Freedom of Information Commission, 130 Conn. App. 448 (2011), the Connecticut Appellate Court ruled that a FOIA request for a copy of a record must be in writing to be enforceable against a public agency.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012 for the changes to term lengths and October 1, 2012 for the records request provision.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

15

Nay

0

(03/21/2012)