In Ohio, the public can't find out whom lawmakers are calling or texting, particularly if they're using a personal cell phone. Public records requests by the AP for the numbers of cell phones legislators use for state business were rejected by both parties and in both the House and Senate. Gov. John Kasich's office also declined a request for personal cell phones for the governor and his staff.
Some states have passed laws banning the release of records of lawmakers' personal phones. Lawmakers are often seen talking and texting on their personal devices. It's unclear whether they are conducting state business and they have taken steps to keep citizens and the press from finding out.
Just in the past week, Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a measure to prohibit release of public officials' text messages, voice mails and other electronic communications, and to significantly increase the fees to get public records.
As of 2009, 25 states allowed the use of electronic devices on the floor or in committee, according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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