State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced that Governor John Kasich signed legislation this week making it easier for Ohioans to navigate the public records request process.

Last month the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 321, which provides an expedited process for individuals whose public records requests have been denied by a public office at the state, county and local levels.

"This is a big step forward for Ohio’s public records laws," said Obhof, who co-sponsored the bill. "Senate Bill 321 will increase openness and improve transparency by creating a streamlined process for resolving public records disputes."

Senate Bill 321, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will establish procedures for filing a dispute if a person’s public records request is denied. In the case of a denial, the individual can file a complaint with the Court of Claims that will begin with a mediation process designed to resolve the dispute over access to the requested public records.

Ohioans still retain the right to seek available remedies under the current legal process by filing a traditional mandamus action.

Senate Bill 321 received support from Auditor Dave Yost, Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Newspaper Association.

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