[APG Public List] Help for Genealogists

Liz Stookesberry Myers stookesberry at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 13:07:11 MDT 2009


Hello Folks,

Much is going on with the fight for access to Public records.  We have
already mentioned California’s AB 130, where the Mother’s Maiden name cannot
be given with data files and Internet Indices.



Correa and Hancock voted No. The following were absent, astaining or not
voting: Ashburn, Calderon, DeSaulnier, Harman, Padilla and Wright.



NOW, NOW is the time to write, call or Fax to:

 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )

Or go to: http://govnews.ca.gov/govmail/webmail.php to send a E-mail.

If you do not take a minute to notify Governor Schwarzenegger of our needs
for this to *be vetoed*, we all will be sorry in the years to come.

The other biggie is the closing of the Michigan State Library.  Shirley
Hodges reminds us to tell all Representatives and Senators that funding
needs to keep the entire Library as it is now and keep it in the Library
building that was built for that purpose.  The final budget has to be
approved by *Sept. 30.*

You can sign a petition by going to:

*http://www.petitiononline.com/RPAC2009/petition.html*<http://www.petitiononline.com/RPAC2009/petition.html>

NOW IS THE TIME!!!!

Good News: The Adams County, Nebraska Historical Society wanted the names of
people buried in the cemetery attached to the Hastings Regional Center, a
mental institution. They were denied access by the records custodian. The
Historical Society said that the information constituted death
records<http://www.rcfp.org/news/mag/33-1/unearthing_an_unusual_privacy_battle_19.html>,
not medical records that might be covered by HIPAA, federal Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

The high court in Nebraska agreed. The Nebraska open records law provides
that medical records "other than records of births and deaths" may be
withheld from the public. The court found that the cemetery information fell
into the death-record category because it was even more limited than what is
released to the public on an actual death certificate. Furthermore, the data
sought did not describe the diagnosis or treatment of the individuals at the
facility -- just their names and locations of burial.

The court held that "HIPAA, does not bar release of the information" and, in
fact, "provides for release of information when required by state law." As
the records here were death records under Nebraska law, the court said, they
must be released!

So dear genealogists*, NOW IS THE TIME TO BE HEARD!!!*

Liz Myers


-- 
"Have a great day and a better tomorrow."
         Brian Smith, News-Enterprise
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