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Proposal to scale back Louisiana governor's records exemption approved by Senate committee

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Lawmakers are considering whether to restrict the broad public records exemptions granted to the governor's office.

Without objection Wednesday, the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee backed a proposal by Sen. Dan Claitor, a Republican from Baton Rouge, to add significant limits to a governor's ability to shield records from the public.

The proposal would keep the governor's communications with his staff exempt from disclosure. But it would get rid of an exemption that gives executive branch departments a six-month blackout period on budget documents.

It also would do away with language that hides records considered part of the governor's "deliberative process," an exemption other agencies have claimed.

The bill would take effect with Louisiana's next governor, to be elected this fall. The measure heads next to the Senate for debate.

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