- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is supporting an update to the state’s 45-year-old public information act.

In a 47-0 vote on Wednesday, senators passed an amended bill that would create a five-member compliance board to handle fee disputes and an ombudsman-type position to mediate disagreements between the public and government agencies.

A Senate committee removed language from the bill that would have required the Department of Agriculture to keep waste management reports for certain farms. Opponents of the original provision said it would have been easy to identify a farm’s address and the reports would reveal private business plans.

Sen. Jamie Raskin, the Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the legislation, says the amended version is a better bill.

The bill now heads to the House where a similar proposal is being considered.

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