Virginia Freedom of Information Act; clarifies definition of 'public record.' (SB730)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Clarifies that the definition of "public record" does not include records that are not prepared for or used in the transaction of public business. The bill defines "social media account" and creates a new discretionary exemption for social media records of General Assembly members when such records relate to the use of a social media account by a member in such member's individual capacity. The bill requires the public body to be a necessary party in any enforcement proceeding. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18100455D
01/10/2018Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/23/2018Assigned GL&T sub: #1
01/26/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB730)
01/29/2018Passed by indefinitely in General Laws and Technology with letter (10-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Megan Rhyne writes:

This bill states the obvious: records that don't have to do with public business are already outside the reach of FOIA. If a record is about public business, FOIA extends to it, whether it's on a private account, device or social media platform. There is also no reason why General Assembly members, the governor, college presidents and the like should get a free ride on social media activity when no other government employee or official does.