By PHIL KABLER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Public information could be a little less public, under two bills advanced by the Senate Thursday.
That includes legislation to make contractors’ employee wage records confidential (Senate Bill 474). The documents, which have to be filed to comply with the West Virginia Jobs Act, currently are public record.
Proponents of the measure contend that the records contain personal information, including workers’ names, home addresses and wages, whose disclosure could constitute an invasion of privacy.
“I don’t see how I could vote for a statute that legalizes identity theft,” said Sen. Chandler Swope, R-Mercer.
Some senators argued that employees’ Social Security numbers could also be disclosed under the current law, something Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, disputed, noting that the state Freedom of Information Act prohibits disclosure of such personal information.
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