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Massachusetts AG Healey: Time to update public records law

July 11, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Attorney General Maura Healey is urging lawmakers to update the state’s public records law.

Healey said one change should focus on attorneys’ fees.

She said Massachusetts is among a handful of states that don’t require government agencies to cover the cost of attorneys’ fees for individuals or groups that successfully sue for access to public records.

She said making the change will remove a barrier for bringing such claims.

Healey said public records laws also must be updated to reflect the fact that many documents are now maintained electronically.

She said while agencies should have the ability to charge reasonable fees for records, those fees shouldn’t be so excessive that they stifle access.

Healey made the comments in a letter to the Legislature’s Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

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