On Monday, March 7th, UEG urged Governor Herbert to veto HB 477. On Tuesday, the Legislature recalled the bill and changed the effective date of the legislation to July 1, 2011, supposedly to allow time for public input and to allow changes to the bill in a June special session. The public must make sure that the changes are not superficial and that the bill’s bad substance is defeated. Here is our position statement:
HB 477, amendments to GRAMA (the Government Records Access and Management Act), is a bill that severely restricts public access to legislative information. For a Legislature that keeps saying that disclosure and transparency are enough to ensure good ethics, HB 477 is the height of hypocrisy.
In short, this bill is a severe restriction on the public’s right to know and reduces the concept of freedom of information to a mere shell of its former self. It deserves a quick veto.