Iowa News

Branstad will sign bill creating information panel

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad says he will sign a bill into law, changing the state's open meetings and records laws and creating a nine-member Iowa Public Information Board.

Branstad scheduled a signing ceremony for Thursday afternoon.

The measure caps a six-year effort to improve access to government meetings and records.

The board will oversee enforcement of open meetings and records laws, and investigate claims that those laws have been violated. The board will include three people nominated by media associations, three by local-government groups and three unaffiliated citizens.

Under the new system, residents who believe an open records law has been violated could seek help from the board, which would investigate the claim and could take the case to court.

It replaces a process that relies primarily on county prosecutors.

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