Bill would hide birth dates of public employees while state sells same information for everyone else

While HB 3382 would conceal public employees' birth dates in their personnel records, the state Department of Public Safety continues to sell the birth dates for millions of regular Oklahomans from other records, the Tulsa World notes today.

The House vote on HB 3382 was delayed from Friday to Monday.

The bill would also would allow DPS to keep OHP dash cam recordings secret when they are most important and to charge $50 for copies of the recordings and for photographs, the FOI Oklahoma Blog pointed out last week.

The language restricting access to the birth dates of public employees was added to HB 3382 last week in the the Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations

Rep. Randy Terrill's original bill on dates of birth had died in the House last month after Rep. Lucky Lamons, D-Tulsa, added an amendment requiring the state Legislature to follow the Open Records Act. Representatives didn't want to vote on that issue.

Legislators have long used conference committee reports to make last-minute changes to bills that then can be quickly ushered onto the floor of the House and Senate for a final vote, Sean Murphy of the AP notes in an article published statewide today.

Some lawmakers say it allows for last-minute shenanigans as members or lobbyists bypass the traditional vetting process and sneak controversial proposals into the statutes in the waning days of the legislative session, Murphy wrote.

Sound familiar?

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism
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.