Utah Media Coalition will again monitor transparency with GRAMA Watch

Published: Sunday, Jan. 27 2013 12:18 p.m. MST

The Utah Media Coalition will again implement its GRAMA Watch during the 2013 Utah Legislative session.

Steve Greenwood

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Media Coalition will again implement its GRAMA Watch during the 2013 Utah Legislative session.

GRAMA Watch is the coalition's effort to review proposed and pending legislation to gauge its effect on open government, an effort started after the 2011 legislative session in which the Legislature attempted to overhaul Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act. During the 2012 legislative session, GRAMA Watch monitored the transparency of more than 12 bills, prompting legislators to follow GRAMA Watch's recommendations at least 50 percent of the time.

As in past years, GRAMA Watch will use a three-tiered scale to rate the bills, ranging from "bright light" to "lights out."

Bills receiving a "bright light" rating would be considered an improvement to public access to government and would be recommended for passage. Legislation with a "pale light" rating would be considered neutral while bills rated as "lights out" would mean a move away from open government.

GRAMA Watch rankings and notes will be published in Utah newspapers and on the Internet at UtahsRight.com.

The Utah Media Coalition is a group of Utah news organizations that aims to protect the public's right to open government. The coalition launched GRAMA Watch after the 2011 legislative session almost resulted in restrictions to the public's access to government's records. It encourages individual Utahns to aid in their efforts by contacting their government representatives about their concerns about government transparency and accessibility.

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