Open Records Approved

Feb 22, 2012

The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to an updated Open Records law, but in the process they removed a controversial amendment.

The bill updates Open Records laws in the state and includes the fact that electronic documents and communications are now part of the law.  That piece became controversial earlier in the week when Senator Bruce Burns successfully amended the bill to say that communication between a member of the public and an individual public official would not be available to the public.  But the Senate changed that during final debate.  Senator Tony Ross said such an exchange could explain why a public official voted the way he or she did.  He says such information is  important

“This is all about openness.  It’s all about making sure that the public knows what’s going on.”

But Senator Chris Rothfuss believes that private communication is also needed.

“To me it’s also clear that we need people to have a conversation with their elected officials that they consider to be a private conversation. And to be able to have that public official respect that privacy.”

But the Senate disagreed and one on one communication is once again covered in the bill as it heads to the House for further debate.