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GRAMA advocacy group criticizes bill to change public records law

Published: Friday, March 8 2013 12:59 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Media Coalition has rated two legislative bills on their compatibility with the Government Records Access and Management Act.

SB77 received a "bright light" rating from the coalition's GRAMA Watch. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, requires government entities to post all meeting minutes on the Utah Public Notice Website. The coalition said the bill serves to make government more open.

HB370, sponsored by Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, would change GRAMA to make all birth dates on any records private. Utah makes birth dates of registered voters public so that outside observers can verify the legitimacy of elections.

The Utah Media Coalition said there are no known cases of identity theft tied to public birth records, so the bill would needlessly hide information that helps the public monitor elections and government in general. GRAMA Watch gave the bill a "lights out."

The Utah Media Coalition represents Utah news organizations and serves to protect the public's right to open government. The coalition encourages Utahns to contact their government representatives to voice their concerns about keeping all levels of government open and accessible.

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