Public Records

Vito Barbieri
Matt Cilley / AP Images

Idaho state Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt public officials from fulfilling certain public records requests. He brought up the proposal in the House State Affairs Committee.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A series of seminars on open meetings and public records laws returns to southwest Idaho Monday. The organization Idahoans for Openness in Government puts together the seminars each year in different parts of the state along with the office of the Attorney General. The free public seminars start Monday in McCall then come to Boise and Nampa early next month.

Idaho’s Attorney General and the Idaho Press Club do the presentation. The interactive event lasts about three hours and features audience role playing.

The Idaho House has endorsed increasing fines for violating the state's open meeting law.

Republican Rep. Linden Bateman told House members Monday that the fees hadn't been raised since the original law passed four decades ago.

The plan is slated to increase the fine fivefold — from $50 to $250 — in order to cover the cost of inflation. More severe violations could cost up to $2,500.

The bill passed 58-11. It now goes to the Senate for approval.

An eastern Idaho family has launched an online fundraising effort to help cover the estimated $1,200 cost to access public records about the Idaho State University president's residence.

Rhonda and Eric D'Amico and their son Sam D'Amico filed a public record request for receipts and other documents showing how much the university spends to renovate and maintain the Servel House. The house is used as a residence for ISU's president, Arthur Vailas.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has appointed a public records ombudsman to review how state agencies handle records requests and to look at ways to improve Idaho's public records laws.

Cally Younger, the associate attorney for the governor's office, is filling the post, Otter announced Wednesday.