Rep. Terrill makes state employee home addresses available to OPEA

Rep. Randy Terrill quietly opened up the confidential home addresses of state employees to the private employees group that advocates for state workers and to which he belongs, The Oklahoman reported Sunday.

The home addresses, home telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of state employees were
exempted from the Open Records Act by state legislators in 1992. The same information for former state employees was exempted in 2003.

But in the closing days of last year's legislative session,
The Oklahoman reported, a provision making the home addresses available to the Oklahoma Public Employees Association was tacked onto Terrill's HB 2245, the Oklahoma Criminal Illegal Alien Repatriation Act of 2009.

The OPEA named Terrill, a Republican from Moore, its "Legislator of the Year" for his effort to provide the state employee mailing list, the newspaper noted.

HB 2245 created a separate statute making the home addresses available to any organization that limits membership to state employees and has at least 2,000 members. (OKLA. STAT. tit. 74, § 3119)

Under the statute, the organization "may annually send one general mailing to all state employees." The Office of State Finance must first agree to the "method of providing a list of the names and addresses of the state employees to accomplish the mailing, while preserving the confidentiality of the list."

The Oklahoman reported that since the statute went into effect on June 2, "a spreadsheet of all state workers home addresses has twice been e-mailed to direct mail companies hired by OPEA."

Terrill is the House sponsor of SB 1753, which would exempt the birth dates of government employees from their personnel files.

Terrill recently said the
bill likely won't be in its current form when it comes up for a vote in the House.

Watch The Oklahoman's strongly worded video editorial regarding Terrill and the OPEA.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Oklahoma State University
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.