Atlanta, GA (AP) - The cost of getting government documents would decrease and those illegally withholding records would face new sanctions under legislation approved by the General Assembly.
House lawmakers voted 169-1 on Thursday to approve the bill, sending it to the desk of Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.
Sponsored by Republican Rep. Jay Powell, the bill is the product of months of negotiations with Attorney General Sam Olens, local governments, media outlets and others.
Powell's bill would drop the cost of photocopying public records from 25 cents to 10 cents per page.
People seeking documents could also pursue civil, not just criminal, penalties against governments that violate the law. Supporters of that change have said successfully seeking a civil penalty against violators is easier than winning a criminal case.