Advocates say tight budget leading to open-press threats

Oklahoma House.jpg

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Press freedom advocates in Oklahoma say legislative threats to the public's access to government this year mostly center on agencies trying to save money.

Mark Thomas of the Oklahoma Press Association says amid a cash-strapped budget year, some agencies are looking to save by either selling records or restricting the public's access to them.

Among the bills Thomas has concerns with this year is House Bill 3324, a bill requested by the Tulsa County sheriff that would allow counties to destroy most body camera footage after 90 days. Under current law, they have to keep all footage for at least one year.

Other bills Thomas is monitoring would allow the Department of Corrections to keep secret certain records about an inmate's family or allow some board discussions to take place behind closed doors.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.