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Relating to the right of directors of special districts to obtain district information, documents, and records.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 337 would add a new section to the Local Government Code. Specifically, this bill would allow a director of a special district the right to access all confidential information of a special district overseen by that director. This bill would require the special district to provide any public and confidential information to the director. However, the special district may require the director to sign a confidentiality agreement before handing over sensitive information.
If the director 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 special district or the director to appeal the AG’s decision to the district court if necessary.
SB 337 amends the Local Government Code by adding a new section to chapter 201. Specifically, this bill would grant a directors unfettered access to all documents within the special district overseen by that director. This bill would reinforce and clarify existing law on this right for directors.
It is within the proper role of government to allow directors to have access to all information concerning the special district under their jurisdictional purview. Additionally, this legislation allows government entities to implement safeguards for confidential information by requiring directors to sign a confidentiality agreement before relinquishing any documents.
For these reasons, we support SB 337 because it is within the proper role of government and it creates personal responsibility for anyone who has access to confidential information.