13 June 2008

Public records committee - June update

Jan Meisels Allen of California heads the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee. She has posted new information here .

1. Introduction of US 6056, Preserving the American Historical Records Act which if enacted would provide funding for the US Archivist with funds to preserve and protect historical documents and doled out to the states who have made 50% matching funds .

2. Connecticut HB 5808 which has been signed into law and becomes effective October 1 and restricts access to vital records with Social Security numbers. As CT had existing law that permitted genealogists full access to vital records, this is a major change for genealogists and others. The issue is the interpretation of a US Code by the CT Attorney General that opines that access to records with Social Security numbers after a certain date, violates federal code. This may cause concern with other states that provide access to records with Social Security numbers. For more information, please see the IAJGS Latest Alert.

3. Iowa HF 2548 would open records after specified number of years - no action taken as yet.

4. New York AB 10595 would open death records if Social Security numbers on death records were redacted. No action taken yet.

5. New Hampshire SB 461 was signed into law opening vital records after specified number of years.

There has been no further action since the last update on New Jersey A 326 affecting access to vital records or Pennsylvania SB 1296 which would open vital records after specified number of years. The Legislatures are still in session, therefore action is still possible.

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