(KXNET) — On Monday, state lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a plan to hold on to more government records.
House Bill 1528 was written after former attorney general Wayne Stenehjem passed away last year and his emails were all deleted.
This bill requires that state departments save all emails from department heads and officers who are appointed by the governor for at least two years following their departure from the appointed role.
Every department must also have a plan to put certain accounts on hold if a person is fired, placed on leave, dies, or quits without notice.
The bill also requires colleges and the state board of higher ed to hold onto ‘non-student’ emails for at least one year.
“Our commitment to openness, transparency, and proper accounting of records are features that highlight the strength of our democracy,” stated Senator Jeff Barta. “Decades, if not generations, have passed with the public maintaining relative confidence that our laws and policies preserve public records and ensure unabridged public access.”
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and will take effect on July 1.