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The Yin and Yang of the Public Records Debate

At different ends of Capitol hallways last week, a traditional debate was playing out on the issue of public records, pro and con.

On one side stood Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, who has made much of his attempt to bring order out of chaos on Oregon's public records laws, which are spread throughout Oregon statutes. In the process, his efforts would get rid of about 100 exemptions that make records private (Senate Bill 41).

On the other side, gun rights advocates won passage in the House of House Bill 2787 to bar public access to records of concealed handgun license holders.

Bills also are pending to make records held by state agency ombudspersons confidential (House Bill 2043) and bar media access to 911 tapes (Senate Bill 346).

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