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A bill in the Rhode Island Senate could make the emails of state officials a public record.

Three of Rhode Island's top four lawmakers and Gov. Gina Raimondo denied a recent request by The Associated Press to disclose a week's worth of emails.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Democratic Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and Republican Minority Leader Brian Newberry all said it would create a chilling effect if constituents knew their emails were not confidential.

Lawmakers can voluntarily disclose emails but only Republican Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere did so in response to AP's request.

A Senate bill backed by open government advocates would make elected officials' emails public unless the communications have nothing to do with official functions or influence.




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