Records fight involving Enterprise leads to reform effort at Legislature

SALEM — Legislators are weighing a proposal that would put Oregon's attorney general and district attorneys in the position of defending public records requests in court.

Oregon law allows anyone to request records from any public entity, from school districts to state agencies. In some cases, the person requesting the records and the officials keeping them may disagree on whether the records are subject to the state's public disclosure requirements.

Right now, under the law, a person who asks for records and is denied can appeal to the local district attorney — or, in the case of state records, to the attorney general — to step in and order their release. But if the district attorney or attorney general does so and the public officials still don't believe they should have to comply with the request, they can file a lawsuit — not against . . .