The start of a new year has brought into effect a new public records law in Massachusetts.

Governor Charlie Baker signed “An Act to Improve Public Records,” which will require the designation of a point person to provide public records on behalf of each state agency and municipality.

The law also aims to prevent offices from unfairly turning down requests: if an agency refuses a public records request, a citizen can take the agency to court. If the agency loses the court case, it might have to pay lawyer's fees.

Carol Rose, the executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, joined BPR to explain the law, saying it represents a positive change that will inspire trust.

“The ability to see what your government is doing, now especially, is going to be really important,” she said. “It’s a fundamental part of living in a free and open society.”

Carol Rose is the executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. To hear her interview on BPR in its entirety, click on the audio link above.