Under the Dome

Sunshine on records — if you can wait that long

Now that would be a record-breaking wait for a public records request.

A bill moving through the General Assembly would eliminate nearly all of the current restrictions on access to state records and make them public — 100 years after they were created.

The provision in House Bill 184, a bill spelling out how state museums and historic sites can legally acquire unclaimed items that had been loaned to them, was sought by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The idea is to make records available for future researchers looking through archives.

Under the bill, restrictions on what records are public would expire after 100 years. Records that could not be made public include those: sealed by a judge’s order; disclosure prohibited by federal law; Social Security numbers; records of juvenile, probationer, post-release or prison inmates; and detailed drawings and plans of public buildings and infrastructure.