SC panel advances bills on open records law

The South Carolina Statehouse

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Senate panel has advanced two open records bills following state Supreme Court rulings last year that dealt blows to traditional practices under the state’s Freedom of Information law.

One bill sent Thursday to the Judiciary Committee would require public boards to post agendas for their meetings at least 24 hours beforehand.

The other creates a new report coroners can release. The cause of death report would provide basic information such as the cause, manner and location of death.

The justices ruled last July that autopsies are medical records and therefore private. A month earlier, they ruled public bodies don’t have to post what they’ll discuss and, if they do have an agenda, it can be changed in the meeting. Under the bill, a change would require a two-thirds vote by a board.