Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) cites FOIA on life support in his blog oxroadsouth.com:
“Last week, the Assembly passed SB 202, which undid a major push eight years ago to ensure that all of our public spending was ‘online’ and searchable by ordinary citizens. This, of course, meant disclosing the salaries of public employees over a certain income level. However, SB 202 has undone all of that, which means that you will no longer know how much a public employee (even a city manager) is paid unless you make a formal FOIA request. (Because we all have time to do that).
“This bad idea passed on a 27-12 vote.
“Today the Senate passed SB 552 which is even more sweeping. It actually prohibits from disclosure not just the salary information but even the names of public safety personnel, including the Sheriff, the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief.
“On the floor today, I pointed out that a Chief of Police could put his own family on the payroll and be protected from disclosure. This could also be an issue if a law enforcement agency hires an officer with a poor record from another jurisdiction — and nobody knows. Again, who are we protecting?”
“Again, the bill passed 25-15.”
“If I'm making a veto list, these two are definitely on it.”