Comments about ‘Bill to restrict access to government records passes House’

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Published: Thursday, March 3 2011 6:25 p.m. MST

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Alfred
SLC, Utah

"A bill that would restrict public access to many government records sailed through the House Thursday, less than 24 hours after it was first discussed in committee."

Step one in moving toward a secretive tyrannic government.

Cedarite
Cedar City, UT

Utah's Righteous Overlords always know what is best for the peasantry, even if the peasants don't know what is good for them.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

Once again, something created in the Utah Legislature that will have to be settled in the 10th District Court of Appeals in Denver.

Trueman
Draper, Utah

Making it easier to withhold information from the public is shameful. Hopefully the Utah Senate will wakeup and smell the decaf and kill the proposed bill.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

"Dougall said he also proposed the changes to protect constituents' privacy, allowing them to communicate candidly with their representatives."

More like to protect lobbyists' privacy and allow them to agree with "their" representatives on ethics violations which could be embarrassing if discovered by the public. What a total circus.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

This deserves deliberate discussion with public access advocates, not a 24-hour rush job. Doesn't the Republican majority already have enough opportunity to predetermine outcomes in their secret caucuses? I say all cell phone/texting/email among legislators during legislative sessions be publicly broadcast, recorded, or banned. Otherwise a quorum of any committee can discuss and make a decision in private at any time, avoiding public exposure of the real issues during public meetings.

When making law becomes as distasteful as making sausage we need another Upton Sinclair.

JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

This bill is outrageous and slimey.

runwasatch
Ogden, UT

Interesting how the media, who really are the ones who will be impacted by this bill, are so vigorously stirring up the populous into thinking this is some terrible thing.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you needed access to public records?

Given how frequently the media quotes "anonymous sources" who can't be named because they are not authorized to discuss or release the information, it seems the media gets what ever information it wants - one way or another.

Media crybabies whining they won't be able to do what ever they want...

Limiting the media's self imposed entitlement to all information on anything is a good thing... the media is biased and out of control. Time to reign them in!!

standtall
Sandy, UT

@runwasatch: The reason we don't generally have to access public records (and pay the fee associated with it) is because the media DOES. It is their JOB. And, I daresay I "need" access to public records on a daily basis, though I might not always take advantage of that access. No good can come from greater secrecy for a government. Are there no other ways for them to streamline their work load? Government has "come to a stop" because they allow the public to have too much access? Please. Give me a break.

tigger
AMERICAN FORK, UT

This is the type of legislation that gets passed when there is only one party (either party) running the state. We need two parties for discussion and debate.

attentive
Salt Lake City, UT

Who really thought that it wouldn't "sail through the House?" Was there a chance that it wouldn't?

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@runwasatch

"Limiting the media's self imposed entitlement to all information on anything is a good thing... the media is biased and out of control. Time to reign them in!!"

So the press has no business getting infomration about the public's business? When the government gets to control what information the deem the public is privelidged enough to have we are no better than the USSR and Pravda.

freedomforthepeople
Sandy, UT

Many of you have fallen prey to the media's slant on this issue. Not surprising since they get to control the issue through their publication of the story.

This bill will protect free speech, not inhibit it.

And the GRAMA requests really can be ridiculous and burdensome.

Good bill - it will help protect citizens, our speech and the private speech of our citizen-legislators.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@freedomforthepeople

You are wrong, plain and simple. Government workers have NO right to privacy on a government-owned computer or phone. If a government worker wishes to have private email converstations or text conversations, they need to do so on equipment that they own, not the equipment the taxpayers own. A government computer is for government use, not to email his buddies.

Navyvet
taylorsville, utah

This is what we get because we keep electing a single party. The people of Utah won't wake up until it is too late. These guys on the hill don't listen to their constituents, don't pay attention to public polls and see themselves as above direction and certainly above reproach. As long as we blindly vote for the candidate with the "R" we will continue to lose our freedoms.

phgreek
Hooper, UT

@freedomforthepeople

Where to begin...Freedom of speech is not what you apparently think it is. Freedom of speech says the government can't persecute you for what you say...extends to religeon etc. It provides no protection from criticism by your fellow man for saying something that makes him angry. As well, ANY conversation with a legislator about a legislative issue should be available, as each conversation has a potential impact on a legislators decision...it is public record, no question. I honestly don't know what private speech is, but if you mean discussions regarding legislative issues initiated by a citizen who wantes to remain anonymous...fine redact their name if they have no contracts or other interest with the state.

Sometimes its not about the specifics of a law, but rather the environment it creates leads to lawlessness. This legislation clearly sends the wrong message regarding accountability, and in and of itelf has enormous potential to be abused.

Seriously, we may as well put in a small, dark, smoke filled room at the Capital and quit pretending.

Bruce Edward Walker
Midland, MI

I agree with the majority who posted their opinions this bill is an egregious attempt to limit the ability of the press to submit Freedom of Information Act requests. This bill is bad news, and will establish a precedent potentially damaging the press' and citizens' ability to "speak to authority" by requesting and receiving government information in a timely fashion.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

Navyvet
You are dead on. Right now, due to focus group studies, the Republican are saying the "right things". But just look at their actions on the hot social issues like defense of marriage, gay rights and abortions and see if they effectively do what they claim. I have been in states dominated by the Democrats and you see the same attitude, just different bad results. But is almost impossible to get a Mormon to vote for a Democrat, no matter the state of residence.

Navyvet
taylorsville, utah

I put my life on the line and many of my fellow veterans gave theirs to protect freedom.

Now, in a stroke of the pen, the "uncouth crowd" can take it away?

trapdinutah
South Jordan, UT

It seems to me that the Legislature ought to be spending time creating legislation that will allow the public to trust them - like, for example, legislation requiring their ethical behavior (since they prove over and over that they can't do it otherwise) - and quit developing and passing bills that enable them to be just as unethical as the public already knows that they are. With the Wisconsin debacle, there seems to be a lot of talk about an "out-of-control" government. Well, here in Utah, that description starts with and is exemplified by the legislature. Unfortunately, their actions demonstrate that they just don't get it, and they just don't care, and they don't care who knows it.

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