Virginia lawmakers vote to roll back open records reform

Charniele Herring, Rob Bell
Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-13 17:15:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have passed a measure that would undo a recent reform intended to expand public access to certain law enforcement files in closed criminal investigations.

Under the bill both the Senate and House approved Saturday, the disclosure of such records to the press and general public would no longer be mandatory.

Instead, disclosure would again be up to the discretion of the law enforcement agency. The measure’s sponsor said the bill was intended to increase protections for crime victims and their families.

Opponents say the changes would reduce transparency and accountability and hinder work on wrongful convictions. The measure now goes to Gov. Glenn Youngkin.