Delaware Vote Tracker

HB 203 – Limiting Governor’s Emergency Powers relating to FOIA Requests

House Bill 203 sounds and looks like a bill that is one of those reactionary Republican attempts to limit a Democratic Governor’s power as it relates to their emergency powers used during the COVID Pandemic.

The bill essentially holds that the Governor cannot suspend the Government’s responsibilities and obligations in responding to requests for documents and information under the Freedom of Information Act without a showing that the particular FOIA request at issue prevents, hinders or delays the State’s necessary actions in coping with the crisis at hand.

That seems reasonable to me. I can see a situation, like at the beginning of the pandemic, where FOIA requests and the response to them might be delayed due to the fact that government personnel and the public could not enter the appropriate government building where documents could be found, reviewed and produced. But delays are not the same as outright suspending the practice.

You see, I do review Republican bills to see if they are actually at attempt at honest governing rather than a response to whatever fever dream is coursing through the diseased conservative mind that week. This seems to be the former, not the latter.

House Bill 203 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Shupe, Briggs King, Collins, Lynn, M.Smith, Spiegelman
Pettyjohn, Hocker
Current Status — House Administration 5/19/21

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