Two new Wyoming laws went into effect this month, which require local governments and public bodies to be more transparent. The Open Meetings Act requires that all state boards and commissions make their meetings open to the public and announce them eight hours in advance.
It also disallows officials from conducting closed meetings though technological correspondences like texting and emailing. The Public Records act requires agencies to approve or deny requests for public records within seven days. Jim Angell is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Press Association. He says, these laws allow residents to hold their government accountable.
“The bottom line with both these laws—the open meetings and public documents act—is to make sure that that the public has access to the information on what their governments, their various government entities, are doing on their behalf with their resources,” Angell says.
The laws apply to pubic bodies like town councils, school boards, and country and state commissions, though not to the legislature.