From The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio House Democrats want to increase government transparency by inserting Sunshine law reforms in the legislation carrying Gov. John Kasich’s proposed additions to the state budget.

In a Statehouse press conference marking Sunshine Week, a group of Democrat lawmakers called for changes they said would increase governmental accessibility and accountability.

The Democrats proposed:

  • Requiring state and local governments to provide public records within 20 days after they are requested. Current law has no deadline.
  • Creating an independent public-records ombudsman to mediate public records disputes, including those involving state government.
  • Allowing Ohioans to more easily recover appropriate attorney fees and damages when winning court cases seeking the release of public records.
  • Mandating that all legislative committee hearings be broadcast live online. Committee chairmen now decide if meetings will be streamed online.
  •  Forcing JobsOhio, Kasich’s privatized economic-development agency, to disclose corporate donations online within 30 days of receipt.

“State government should be open, accessible and accountable to its employers — the taxpayers,” said Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria.

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