Change One for the Gipper

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to understand issues surrounding the creation of legislation.
  • Students will be able to analyze potential ramifications for changes in statutory law to record keeping practices.

Scenario

Recently during the state legislative session, Representative Wayne Herty proposed an update to the states open records law. Because in his words “Other states have a 90 day window for responses to record requests for athletic records. We feel that our state should follow their example.” Rumor has that Herty only came up with this proposal after an extended lunch with the new head coach of the state team Bobby Bryant, but that’s just the rumor. The proposal seemed to go no where during the legislative session, but it seems that during Sine Die it was added to bill concerning water rights for orphaned wood chucks. According to the text of the short amendment of the Wood Chuck, Water Chuck bill, only athletic records would have a longer response period for open records requests. Most records in the state require a response in 3 days, this includes records from the governors office.

Questions

  • What do you think about the process used to create the law in the case study?
  • What seems suspicious about this change in the law?
  • What are the ramifications to record keeping practices that these changes make? What does this scenario tell you about possible issues with the legislative process that archivist may need to deal with?

Bibliography

Brown, Micheal. “Georgia politicians think restricting access to public records will help UGA football. That’s stupid.” in SB Nation. https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/3/28/11317462/geogria-football-records-law-kirby-smart

New, Jake. “Changing Laws to Win National Championship”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/04/13/georgia-law-extends-athletics-related-open-records-response-time-90-days

“Kirby’s Law” Will Make It Harder To Report On Georgia Athletics”. https://deadspin.com/kirbys-law-will-make-it-harder-to-report-on-georgia-a-1770500372

2015-2016 Regular Session – SB 323 State Printing and Documents; public disclosure not be required for any documents pertaining to economic development projecthttp://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/SB/323