The Town Crier - Legislative Backgrounder

The Town Crier - Legislative Backgrounder

Jun 20

[ARCHIVED] OPRA Reforms: Commercial Request

The original item was published from June 20, 2023 2:57 PM to June 20, 2023 3:21 PM

Assemblyman Danielsen has introduced A-5613, which makes various changes to the process for requesting access to government records for commercial purposes and limits commercial requests to two per month to any one records custodian. 

The legislation defines “commercial purposes” as “the direct or indirect use of any part of a government record for sale, resale, solicitation, rent or lease of a service, or any use by which the user expects a profit either through commission, salary, or fee.  The term “commercial purpose” does not include using, distributing, gathering, procuring, transmitting, compiling, editing, disseminating, or publishing of information or data by the news media, or any news, journalistic, educational, scientific, scholarly, or governmental organization.”

The legislation requires that the official OPRA request form be used for all records requests. The form must also be updated to include a space for the requestor to certify that the government records will or will not be used by the requestor or another person for commercial purposes. If the requestor intentionally fails to disclose that records will be used for commercial purposes, they must be reported to the Government Records Council (GRC), be prohibited from submitting OPRA requests for one year to any records custodian and may be subject to a civil penalty. The GRC will be required to maintain a list of requestors reported to them. The civil penalty for intentionally falsifying the certification is $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense, and $1,500 for each subsequent offense. Penalties may be imposed by the GRC or courts. 

A-5614 would take effect on the first day of the fourth month following enactment. 

There is no Senate companion at this time. A-5613 awaits consideration by the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee. 

Contact: Lori Buckelew, Deputy Executive Director & Director of Government Affairs,, 609-695-3481, x112.