NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Phil Bredesen has signed an update of the state's open records rules into law.
The new law writes the responsibilities of the state's open records ombudsman into law and creates a seven-day deadline for records custodians to respond to requests -- or to explain why they need more time.
The law will also require the ombudsman's office to develop a reasonable fee schedule for extensive records requests.
The Public Records Act says all state, county and municipal records are to be available for inspection by any Tennessee citizen -- unless the record is specifically exempt.
There are hundreds of such exemptions in the law, such as medical records, sensitive military documents and investigative records of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)