No loosening of state transparency laws

Leave the Open Records Act and Open Meetings Act alone.

I'm writing to thank the Tulsa World and Executive Editor Susan Ellerbach for her column about the Open Records Act and why it was important, not just for the World, but for all of us, that the full truth about the Bixby football players' case be known, not just what the attorneys for the players involved had publicly said about it ("Open records are worth the money for journalists, public interest," Feb. 24).

And, it was especially important for the victim in that case that the true record be disclosed.

Ellerbach wrote that the Open Records Act is not as strong as it was when first passed some 30 years ago.

As the author of the act, I'm especially concerned about that.

The opposition to the bill as we worked on it was fierce. There will always be those in and around government who do not want the public to know what they are doing.

They have tried again and again to get the Legislature to grant them exemptions from the act, and they have been successful in amending it far too often over the years since we passed it.

I hope our new governor and the large group of new legislators recently elected appreciate and will protect the public's "right to know" by defending Oklahoma's Open Records and Meeting Act.

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