12:26pm

Tue May 1, 2012
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Newspaper Pressures Haslam for Records

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A bill under consideration by the Tennessee General Assembly is creating tension between the governor and an East Tennessee newspaper.

The Governor’s staff has declined to release some records about legislation meant to overhaul the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press says the governor's office sought advice from nearly a dozen of the groups regulated by the agency about the proposed legislation.

The paper reports Haslam is refusing to divulge some of the opinions received or who provided them, on grounds the information is protected by attorney work product.

Tennessee Press Association Policy Director, Frank Gibson, questions that response.

“The information that was requested in this case has to do with the development of public policy, and nothing to do with legal advice that an attorney has given a client – in this case the governor – and his legal council.”

The legislation passed the House Tuesday morning. The companion bill passed the senate last week. The measures will have to be reconciled before going to the governor.