Bill to strengthen public records halted in House

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The House has dealt a blow to a bill strengthening South Carolina's public records law.

A 72-34 vote Wednesday sent the measure back to the Judiciary Committee.

At issue is an amendment that would end legislators' exemption.

Sponsoring Rep. Bill Taylor says that was the only part of his measure discussed during a GOP caucus luncheon. The Aiken Republican contends the measure is not dead but needs some tweaking to get it right.

The chamber's Republican leaders insist the caucus supports the bill but too many issues have arisen. They say House members don't have the staff or technology to effectively comply with requests for their correspondence while preserving constituents' privacy.

The bill would bar governmental entities from charging excessive fees and require them to respond more quickly to requests.

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