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The North Carolina legislature is considering legislation that would increase government transparency at the local level. The bill (HB 1134) makes it easier for plaintiffs who successfully sue municipal and county governments for public records to recover legal fees.

The bill would also formally authorize the open government unit within the Attorney General’s Office to assist in settling disputes and issuing advisory opinions on public records and open meeting issues.

The bill was recommended this week by the House Finance Committee and now goes to the full House. The has bipartisan sponsors and is supported by media and public interest groups. According to the News & Record, city and county lobbying groups are opposing the legislation.

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