- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - House and Senate negotiators trying to compromise on a bill to reform the state’s public records law have opted to keep their deliberations open to the public.

The move on Wednesday by the six-member conference committee on public records legislation is a departure from regular procedure on Beacon Hill.

Conference committees iron out differences between House and Senate versions of the same bill.

The panels often vote to conduct negotiations in secret.

Both chambers have approved bills to modernize the records law that government watchdogs have labeled one of the weakest in the nation and an impediment to citizens and journalists trying to access public documents.

The conference committee’s House chairman, Democratic Rep. Peter Kocot (KOH’-cot), of Northampton, says he hopes for a compromise in a “timely fashion.”

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