“Any person may inspect or copy any public record of a public agency as follows...”
– 1 V.S.A. § 316
The language in 1 V.S.A. § 316 generally describes the parameters under which individuals may inspect and copy records. The first public records law, Act 231 of 1976, set forth the provisions that established the times when individuals could access records; allowed agencies to charge individuals for the cost of copying records; and set limits on what copying services agencies would be required to provide.
The most significant changes to this section were enacted as part of Act 159 of 1996. Language was added which detailed how actual copying costs were to be calculated and gave the Secretary of State the authority to adopt by rule a uniform schedule for public record charges. In light of the increased use of electronic records, the act further clarified in which formats individuals could expect to receive copies of records based on the original format of the records.