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Thu February 16, 2006
Law Could Shrink Public Access to Legislators' Communication
By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, WY – An effort to keep e-mails and certain legislative communications secret will move forward. A Senate committee gave unanimous support to a bill that allows lawmakers to delete all e-mail correspondence and another bill to keep all communications with staff secret. The second measure could also keep discussion about a proposed bill, drafts of a bill, and consultant reports from public view. The Wyoming Press Association objects to both bills asking lawmakers to keep as much information before the public as possible. W-P-A attorney Bruce Moats says reports by consultants provide important information to the public and he worries that they could no longer be made available. But Senator Grant Larson argues that lawmakers are really not changing the way they do business, they are just putting it into statute. Other lawmakers say they would like prefer draft bills be kept from public view until they can be fine tuned. Both bills head to the Senate floor.