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A bill to reverse a 1967 loophole allowing former elected officials to submit documents to the State Records and Archives Center without the public having the ability to review those records was introduced in the legislature Friday.
Freshman Rep. Nate Gentry of Albuquerque presented House Bill 368, which would make sure outgoing officials can’t seal the public documents along with the personal files they donate to the state archives.
“It is possible that the documents submitted to the center would be otherwise subject to the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA),” Gentry said during a news conference at the Roundhouse Friday morning.
Rep. Jeannette Wallace, R-Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Sandoval counties voiced strong support for the measure.
“Yes indeed I think this is a good bill – I do not see any reason why governors should be able to protect their documents for eight years,” Wallace said.
Former Gov. Bill Richardson ordering his office records sealed for eight years is what spurred Gentry to introduce the measure.
“I believe people have a fundamental right to review what their government is doing,” Gentry said.
If the measure is successful, it will apply to Richardson’s records, it can be
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