Ohio House Ok’s Bill to Protect Taxpayer Data

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The Ohio House has approved a bill to protect taxpayers’ personal data from inappropriate access by state officials.

The bill would require state agencies to determine which employees have access to sensitive personal information, and valid reasons for accessing it. Agencies would also need to create a system that tracks when data is accessed.

Passed Wednesday by a 69-26 margin, the proposal is a GOP-crafted response to records checks performed by a Democratic state agency director on Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, an Ohio man known as “Joe the Plumber” in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

Bill supporters do not know how much the new measures would cost the state, an issue that concerned many of the lawmakers who voted against it.

The bill still needs Senate approval.