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Public Would Have Limited Access To Ohio Drug Death Reviews

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s governor has proposed allowing counties to create committees that would review overdose fatalities, and the public would have limited access to the findings.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the committees would probe each overdose death in the county and maintain a database that would include victims’ demographic information, where the deaths occurred and what factors contributed to the overdoses.

The committees would submit an annual report to the state Department of Health that summarizes the data, which would be accessible. Under Gov. John Kasich’s proposal, the committees’ meetings would be closed to the public. Any records they would review would be shielded from public disclosure.

Advocates for access to public records worry that the plan cuts off access to important information about the state’s drug epidemic.