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Relating to the right of municipal officers to obtain information, documents, and records.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 336 would add a new section to the Local Government Code. Specifically, this bill would allow a municipal officer of a municipal governing body the right to access all confidential information of the governing body overseen by the municipal officer. This bill would require the municipal governing body to provide any public and confidential information to the municipal officer. However, the governing body may require the officer to sign a confidentiality agreement before handing over sensitive information.
If the municipal officer questions whether certain documents listed in a confidentiality agreement are confidential in nature, then he or she may request the attorney general (AG) to make a ruling on this matter. The AG would have to make this determination within a 45-day time period. Upon making the ruling, this bill would allow the municipal governing body or the municipal officer to appeal the AG’s decision to the district court if necessary.
SB 336 amends the Local Government Code by adding a new section to chapter 51. Specifically, this bill would grant a municipal officer unfettered access to all documents within the municipal governing body overseen by that officer. This bill would reinforce and clarify existing law on this right for municipal officers.
It is within the proper role of government to allow municipal officers to have access to all information concerning the municipal governing body under their jurisdictional purview. Additionally, this legislation allows government entities to implement safeguards for confidential information by requiring municipal officers to sign a confidentiality agreement before relinquishing any documents.
For these reasons, we support SB 336 because it is within the proper role of government and it creates personal responsibility for anyone who has access to confidential information.