Haslam, lawmakers see need to clear pending records requests

Gov. Bill Haslam and two top Tennessee lawmakers say they recognize the need to clear a backlog of hundreds of open records requests.
    
John Dunn, a spokesman for Comptroller Justin Wilson, said Wilson has requested nearly $265,000 in the budget to help with the growing number of requests for information.
    
Haslam, speaking to a group of journalists Thursday, wouldn’t say whether his upcoming budget will contain new positions to help clear the backlog.
    
A recent comptroller’s audit documented 603 open or pending cases where citizens or governments had made requests to the Office of Open Records Counsel, which helps people obtain government records.
    
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said the number of pending cases is now closer to about 1,000. Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell said they would support extra staff to clear the backlog.

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