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Lawsuits challenge shielding of state records

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is facing court challenges over attempts to keep records from the public.

At issue is the use of a public records exemption successfully pushed by Jindal and added to state law during his first term.

Shreveport-based Willis-Knighton Health System sued the Department of Transportation and Development over its refusal to provide information about a highway extension project. The department claimed an exemption tied to the governor's "deliberative process," a permitted exemption under the open records law.

The lawsuit may be near settlement; a Tuesday hearing was postponed after officials said they would release the documents.

But a separate lawsuit over another use of the exemption is pending.

The News-Star newspaper in Monroe has sued the Education Department for denying a public records request using the exemption.

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