Tennessee gov-elect promises to overhaul public records law

Tennessee gov-elect promises to overhaul public records law
Governor-Elect Bill Lee speaks during his acceptance speech.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's newly elected governor says he wants to do a complete overhaul of the state's public records and open meeting laws as part of his commitment to making government more transparent.

Republican Bill Lee first revealed the promise on his transition website last week where he outlined his top priorities as governor, which also includes expanding vocational educational training and helping create more jobs for Tennesseans.

According to Lee's transition spokeswoman Laine Arnold, the Republican wants to reduce the number of public records exemptions and address fees and delays in fulfilling public records requests.

Earlier this year, the Tennessee of Comptroller’s office found that the state currently has more than 500 open records exemptions — or about six times as many as there were three decades ago.