Updated on Sep 12, 2013 04:53PM
Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee found themselves on opposite sides of whether to grant journalists a qualified right to refuse to testify or hand over notes.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 Thursday to pass out the Free Flow of Information Act to the full Senate for consideration. Hatch voted in favor of the bill, which includes compromise language on who is a journalist, while Lee, the state’s junior senator voted no.
Media organizations have been pushing for a law allowing reporters to protect their sources and their notes since 2006. Forty-eight states, including Utah, have laws offering prote...
Updated on Sep 11, 2013 03:12PM
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is following the State Records Committee’s recommendation and nominating Marie Cornwall as the committee’s second public member.
Herbert has sent Cornwall’s name to the Utah State Senate, which will have a confirmation vote when it meets on Sept. 18. However, that is six days after the committee’s regular meeting, leaving the committee one member short for another month.
Cornwall is an emeritus sociology professor at Brigham Young University and lives in Bountiful. The committee gave her a “soft recommendation” in June, due to only seeing her resume.
Updated on Sep 5, 2013 07:44PM
Sen. Mike Lee, who is threatening to shut down the federal government in order to kill Obamacare, might not be adverse to signing off on a Democrat’s idea.
Lee, R-Utah, may support Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal to limit protection under a proposed federal shield law to journalists who have either drawn a salary or had their work published in a recognized publication during a three-month period.
Brian Phillips, Lee’s spokesman, said Lee wants to see a narrowly drawn definition of a journalist, in order to prevent someone who merely dumps data on the Internet from being legally excused from testifying about i...
Updated on Sep 5, 2013 08:01AM
Linda Petersen, president of the Utah Foundation for Open Government, recently participated in a debate over censorship by government public information officers.
The event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. this past month addressed the issue of government spokespeople limiting reporters’ access to officials at agencies, monitoring interviews and even banning reporters from speaking to certain agencies.
While much of the discussion focused on spokespeople at federal agencies, Petersen pointed out that the mindset that public-information officers need to “control” reporters extends far beyond the D...
Updated on Aug 22, 2013 11:02AM
The Utah Transparency Advisory Board added two new members Monday.
The board unanimously voted to add Phillip Windley and Jason Williams as public members of the board. The two were among five people vying for the two seats created under SB77 in the 2013 Legislature.
Windley previously served as the state’s chief information officer, and Williams is a technology consultant and a talk-show host on KVNU. Both served on the GRAMA working group formed in 2011 after the repeal of HB477, the bill that gutted the state’s Government Records Access and Management Act.
Also applying for the ...
Updated on Aug 16, 2013 01:09PM
Worried about that guy who’s dating your daughter?
I”ve updated the criminal charges and divorces databases on Utah’s Right, with data from Jan. 1, 1997, to Aug. 2, 2013. The data does not include people whose cases were dismissed or handled through diversion or plea-in-abeyance agreements.
I also delete criminal charges that have been expunged, once I receive a copy of the expungement order.
Even taking out those cases, the databases are still extensive. There are 883,792 criminal charges listed in the database, an increase of 5,069 since the June update.
Updated on Aug 16, 2013 01:11PM
I received an email the other day from someone who wanted to let me know the Orem salary database needed updating.
“Please update the City of Orem salary information because it is 2 years old,” the person wrote. ”They are now in Fiscal Year 2014.”
The data up there at this time is for the 2012 fiscal year, which began July 1, 2011 and ended June 30, 2012. I will be posting the 2013 fiscal year data shortly.
But I can’t get to the fiscal year 2014 salary data because, technically, it doesn’t exist yet.
Yes, government agencies have already figured out h...
Updated on Aug 22, 2013 10:48AM
Members of the Utah State Transparency Advisory Board are sifting through five applications for the two newly created public seats on the board.
The new positions were created when the Legislature passed SB77, Sen. Deidre Henderson’s bill expanding the scope of the board from improving access to financial data to all government records. Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, was recently named as the committee’s chair.
The five are Steven Bagley, general manager of the Utah Department of Transportation’s Lester Wire Library and a technical writer; Christopher Bleak, president and CEO of the Utah Association of Public and ...
Updated on Jul 31, 2013 10:25PM
The Senate Judiciary Committee will decide Thursday whether reporters should be able to keep sources confidential without having to go to jail.
The committee is taking up the Free Flow of Information Act, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn; and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. The bill would create a qualified privilege for reporters, allowing them to protect confidential sources of information.
Utah Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Mike Lee, both Republicans who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, haven’t made up their minds yet.
Updated on Jul 23, 2013 02:17PM
Filling a vacancy on the State Records Committee wasn’t on the Utah State Legislature’s agenda this past week.
While Gov. Gary Herbert sent recommendations to the Senate for 27 positions that needed advice and conset, including former LDS Presiding Bishop H. David Burton appointment to the University of Utah Board of Trustees and former LDS General Young Women’s President Elaine S. Dalton’s nomination to serve on the Utah Valley University Board of Trustees, there was no nominee for the records committee.
The Legislature voted earlier this year to take away the state auditor’s position on the committee and add...
Updated on Jul 23, 2013 02:38PM
While pledging transparency, the Utah Legislature voted to place parts of its investigation into Attorney General John Swallow behind a cloak of secrecy.
The House of Representatives voted 67-6 Wednesday to approve HB1001, which allows the House investigative committee charged with investigating Swallow to subpoena witnesses, place them under oath and grant limited immunity. The Senate voted 28-0 to approve the measure, with Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, being the only senator not present for the vote.
But the bill also grants the committee the power to close its meetings by a simple majority vote to discuss str...
Updated on Jul 11, 2013 03:14PM
Investigative Reporters and Editors has created a “Golden Padlock” award to highlight government agencies and officials that stymie efforts at open government and transparency.
IRE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving investigative journalism, awarded the first Golden Padlock to the U.S. Border Patrol, for holding back details on shootings involving its agents along the border with Mexico that resulted in several deaths.
Updated on Jul 10, 2013 02:41PM
Wednesday was supposed to be Sen. Deidre Henderson’s first meeting with the Utah Transparency Advisory Board.
But Henderson, a Spanish Fork Republican who is taking the place of Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, wasn’t there. Instead, she was attending a meeting of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators in Philadelphia.
But her new board colleagues came up with a suitable punishment: They unanimously elected her as the board’s new chair, a post also previously held by Niederhauser.
“Pick on the person who isn’t there,” Henderson tweeted after learning about her appoint...
Updated on Jun 26, 2013 06:59PM
Louisiana recently made Utah’s restriction on access to concealed-carry permit information look benign by comparison.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed two bills into law that make it a crime to disclose the name or address of a concealed gun permit holder. Those who do face six months in jail and or a fine of up to $1,000.
In contrast, Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act labels concealed-carry permit information as protected information, meaning the state Bureau of Criminal Identification cannot release the in...
Updated on Jun 25, 2013 06:24PM
Gov. Gary Herbert expects to nominate someone to fill the newly created public-member’s seat on the State Records Committee by next week.
Nate McDonald, a Herbert public information officer, said the governor is still awaiting recommendations on the people who have applied for the job.
Four people applied for the position, and the records committee offered a “soft recommendation” for seating Marie Cornwall on the committee. Cornwall, according to her résumé, is an emeritus sociology professor at Brigham Young University who lives in Bountiful.
Committee Chairman Lex Hemphill said t...
Updated on Jun 21, 2013 03:13PM
Betsy Ross, former chairwoman of the State Records Committee was honored for her 18 years of advocating for open government.
The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists gave Ross one of its annual Sunshine Awards at a ceremony in Fort Douglas’ Officers’ Club Thursday.
Ross served on the board, which hears appeals under the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), since its creation. She first served as the board’s legal counsel and then as the state auditor’s representative on the board. She did three stints as chairwoman.
During her tenure o...
Updated on Jun 15, 2013 10:07AM
Durango, Colo., officials are trying to close what they see as a public-records loophole that is costing them money.
The Durango Herald reports that the city is proposing an ordinance that would ban people from photographing public records they request. It seems people are using their cellphones and tablet computers to get around photocopying fees by taking pictures of the documents.
The city charges 25 cents per page after the first 10 pages, whether the information is photocopied or scanned for emailing, along with billing for the employee’s time to prepare the files. Colorado’s records law, like Utah’s Gove...
Updated on Jun 12, 2013 02:22PM
A Sandy man wants the State Records Committee to help him find out who accused him of illegal burning.
Larry Hartlerode had filed a request under the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) for reports from the Unified Fire Authority related to its response to complaints that he was illegally burning in his Sandy yard. Hartlerode’s request was partially granted, with the name of the person who filed the complaint with the department being removed from the record.
“This information should be provided as per the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the right to confronted ...
Updated on Jun 7, 2013 07:10PM
This may sound familiar to Utahns: A bill drastically changing government-records laws is secretly drafted and rushed through with little time for public comment.
In a scenario reminiscent of the HB477 debacle, Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill that makes records of murder cases private. The bill, which was drafted in secret by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s staff, the state’s top prosecutor and leaders in the legislature, was a response to the Sandy Hook shootings, where a gunman killed 20 students and six teachers before committing suicide.
The bill, which did not go through the public hearing process and was pas...
Updated on May 28, 2013 03:44PM
If you find pictures purporting to be those of Osama bin Laden’s body after he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs, they’re most likely frauds.
The government is not letting anyone in the public see them.
A three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the government was justified in denying Freedom of Information Act requests for the photos and videos taken after the raid, including bin Laden’s burial at sea, because it would endanger national security. The court found that the Defense Department and the CIA properly classified the documents as private.
Updated on May 23, 2013 03:25PM
The owner of a mug-shot website wants a judge to decide on whether Salt Lake County can invoke copyright to withhold booking photos.
As Mike Gorrell reports, Kyle Prall, owner of bustedmugshots.com, is going to court to overturn the county’s denial of his Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) request for 1,388 mug shots taken between Jan. 11 and Jan. 27. The county claimed the pictures were classified as protected records under the federal Copyright Act.
The move is an effort by the county to keep the mug shots off websites that publish the pictures, only removing them if the person pictured pay...
Updated on May 15, 2013 02:22PM
The Associated Press reports that lawyers for the teen accused of killing a soccer referee want the case closed.
The lawyers requested the order after a Salt Lake City television station asked for permission to film in the juvenile courtroom during the teen’s initial appearance. The teen is charged with homicide by assault after he punched referee Ricardo Portillo in the head after Portillo issued him a yellow-card warning at an April soccer game.
Portillo died a week later as a result of the injury.
A new court rule allows TV cameras in courtrooms for hearings. The rule does allow...
Updated on May 13, 2013 08:57PM
Do you have an interest in open government? The Utah State Records Committee is looking for you.
The committee is seeking applications from people interested in filling the vacancy for a second public member on the seven-member body. The committee hears appeals of records requests, as well as establishes records retention policies.
The board includes representatives of local government, news media, private business, the governor’s office and the public.
The current opening was created when the Utah State Legislature amended the law defining the committee’s membership, converting th...
Updated on May 9, 2013 03:40PM
Just as Utah officials are looking for ways to restrict access to mug shots, New Jersey is going in the opposite direction.
The Daily Record of Parsippany, N.J., reports that a bill is moving through the Garden State’s legislature classifying booking photos as public records. The state’s open-records laws were ambiguous on the point, with some counties denying access and others granting it.
“Releasing pictures of defendants puts a face with a name,” the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer, R-Ocean County, told the paper. “These pictures serve important public purposes, including protecting the transpa...
Updated on May 8, 2013 02:37PM
While Amy Meyer nearly became the first Utahn to be prosecuted for taking pictures of an “agricultural operation”, her case is a reminder that other state have — or are considering — so-called “ag-gag” bills.
Meyer was facing charges under a 2012 law that made it illegal to photograph or video record agricultural operations — farms, ranches, slaughterhouses, just to name a few — while trespassing or entering the premises illegally. That last part was inserted in the bill after critics said the proposed law would have had kids on school field trips hauled off to jail if they took a picture of the farm they were touring.
Updated on May 6, 2013 07:13PM
A 3rd District Court judge’s ruling in an open-records case does more than force the Utah Legislature pay $15,000 in attorney’s fees.
Judge L.A. Dever’s April 30 ruling on behalf of the Utah Democratic Party affirms that government agencies should waive fees when a records request benefits the general public. Dever rejected the Legislature’s attempt to charge the Democrats almost $15,000 for copies of correspondence and other documents related to the redistricting effort.
“I’ve always maintained if there were a case that qualified for public interest, this was it,” said Joel Campbell, an associate professor of...
Updated on May 3, 2013 05:08PM
Since 2009, Utahns have been able to log on to a state website and see how much public employees are paid, as well as what agencies and governments were spending.
The goal behind the Transparent Utah website was to make government more, well, transparent. And in some ways it helps. Entities with budgets in excess of $1 million are required to post their books on the site.
But, as was discussed during Tuesday’s Transparency Advisory Board meeting, and heavy users of the site know, not everyone is doing that.
For example, out of 272 counties, municipalities and service districts that...
Updated on Apr 29, 2013 05:57PM
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision announced Monday, stated that there is no constitutional right for people to obtain public records from states they don’t live in
.According to the Reporters’ Commitee for Freedom of the Press, the high court upheld a provision in Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act that states non-residents cannot file records requests.
“This Court has repeatedly made clear that there is no constitutional right to obtain all the information provided by FOIA laws,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.
The suit was brought by Mark J. McBurney an...
Updated on Apr 26, 2013 06:08PM
Rosemary Cundiff, the state’s records ombudsman, recently posted an explanation of what fees can be charged under the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA).
To put it in a nutshell, government entities can charge “reasonable fees” to cover the costs of producing records. The idea is that the employee who is filling the records request is being pulled away from other duties and there’s the cost of the paper and toner in the copier.
During the HB477 debacle in 2011, then-Rep. John Dougall attempted to expand the definition of reasonable fee to include the cost of benefits for said employee, t...
Updated on Apr 26, 2013 04:54PM
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund ranked Utah ninth in the nation for transparency on financial matters.
The group gave Utah a grade of B+ for its transparency website. It noted that Utah’s site provides “checkbook” level information on what government entities are spending, and cited how the data encouraged the state to cut back on buying bottled water to save money.
The state did receive some low marks for not having searchable and downloadable formats for economic-development tax credits, or information to hold the companies receiving the tax breaks accountable....
Updated on Apr 24, 2013 08:48PM
A Farmington group is giving the Utah Department of Transportation bad grades when it comes to transparency.
As Lee Davidson reported, a UDOT project manager told Lori Kalt, president of the SaveFarmington group, that the agency would meet with her group to discuss the West Davis Corridor plan — but only if journalists were not attending the meeting.
The West Davis Corridor would extend the Legacy Highway into Davis and Weber counties, and Kalt and other activists don’t want the highway going through Farmington Bay.
Kalt said the group agreed to the condition, as well as submitting...
Updated on Apr 17, 2013 08:47PM
Two years after a gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head, documents about his case remain under government seal.
The Associated Press reports that three news organizations — The Washington Post, KPNX-TV in Phoenix and Phoenix Newspapers Inc., which publishes the Arizona Republic, want U.S. District Judge Larry Burns to unseal any remaining documents in the case, as well as release redacted information that is no longer required to be secret.
Giffords, a Democratic member of Congress, was shot in the head Jan. 8, 2011, by Jared Lee Loughner during a meet-and-greet outside a Tucson supermarket. Loughner...
Updated on Apr 16, 2013 08:55PM
While Utah’s liquor laws sometimes leave people shaking their heads, it was neighboring Idaho that won recognition for attempting to ban a vodka made in Ogden.
This past week, The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression awarded the Idaho State Liquor Commission one of nine 2013 Jefferson Muzzle awards for barring the sale of Five Wives Vodka in the state.
The Jefferson Muzzles are given around April 13, Jefferson’s birthday, to recognize the foundation’s namesake’s dedication to free expression by spotlighting those who try to trample that right.
In the Five W...
Updated on Apr 23, 2013 09:39PM
In the latest round in the fight against mug-shot websites, Salt Lake County has copied an idea from the recording industry.
As The Salt Lake Tribune’s Mike Gorrell reports, the Salt Lake County Council unanimously voted to deny a GRAMA request Tuesday from Kyle Prall for almost 1,400 mug shots taken in January. Prall is the owner of the bustedmugshots.com website, which posts booking photos from around the country.
Prall’s site offers to remove mug shots of people who died, had their charges dismissed or were found innocent for free, while others have to pay fees, starting at $98, to remove the picture from t...
Updated on Apr 10, 2013 08:37PM
If the 2011 Utah State Legislature, which railroaded HB477 through, was regarded as the worst for access to public records, 2013 was a significant improvement.
“In the end, it was good for open government,” said Linda Petersen, president of the Utah Foundation for Open Government.
One noticeable difference: Legislators were more willing to consult with the Utah Media Coalition — which includes The Salt Lake Tribune and other Utah media outlets — on open-government bills. In contrast, HB477, which gutted the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), was written in closed-door meetings and rushed thr...
Updated on Apr 5, 2013 07:09PM
Lucy Dalglish, the dean of the University of Maryland’s journalism school, recently called for more incentives for government employees to hand over public documents.
“Nobody ever got fired from a government job for not responding to a FOIA request fast enough,” Dalgish told a Sunshine Week gathering at North Carolina State University.
One North Carolina legislator, state Sen. Thom Goolsby, attempted to address that with Senate Bill 125. The bill would fine government employees who refuse to release public documents $200, or put them in jail for up to 20 days.
Updated on Apr 2, 2013 07:05PM
Yesterday, Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill that forces people who want copies of mugshots to swear that they won’t post it on websites that charge to remove them.
HB408, sponsored by Clearfield Republican Rep. Paul Ray, subjects violators to the same penalties as those who lie to police officers. Ray said he sponsored the bill at the request of Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder, who was concerned about the proliferation of mug shot magazines and websites.
Ray and Winder said the sites were not fair to people who had been arrested, not charged and were trying to get on with their lives...
Updated on Apr 1, 2013 03:43PM
As of Monday, more Utahns will be able to get a look at what happens in Utah’s trial courts.
That is when new rules went into effect, permitting television cameras to record trials in the state’s courtrooms. Utah is the 20th state to permit television cameras in trial courtrooms.
Previously, only one still camera was allowed in a trial courtroom, while video cameras were permitted at the appellate level.
The rules permit one video camera in a courtroom, with the video to be shared with all other media outlets. The rule also permits people to use tablet c...
Updated on Apr 1, 2013 01:59PM
Frequently, I get requests from people who want information deleted from the Utah’s Right to Know website.
Sometimes, it’s someone who has had their criminal record formally expunged and wants it taken down before we do our next update. And, once I see proof that the expungement actually took place, I am more than happy to remove the data.
But there are others who want their convictions and divorces removed for no other reason than they don’t want that fact showing up when someone does a Google search on their names.
One gentleman even went as far as cla...
Updated on Mar 28, 2013 05:23PM
One would expect an agency created to ensure police officers are accountable would be the model of transparency.
But, as The Salt Lake Tribune’s Nate Carlisle and the Tribune’s editorial board reported, West Valley City’s Professional Standards Review Board is a bit more opaque.
The paper noted that West Valley City’s board does not publish meeting notices or its findings, nor are the names readily available.
Contrast that with the Salt Lake City Civilian Review Board, which announces its meetings and publishes a quarterly report showing how many complai...
Updated on Mar 26, 2013 02:29PM
Gov. Gary Herbert signed two of Sen. Deidre Henderson’s bills that aim to make more public information accessible.
SB77 requires public bodies to post draft meeting minutes on the state’s Public Meeting Notice website within 30 days of a meeting, and an audio recording of a meeting within three days of the meeting. Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, tried to amend the bill to exempt smaller communities, whom he claimed would view the posting requirement as a hardship, but that change was rejected.
SB283 moves the Utah Transparency Advisory Board from the Department of Finance to the Departm...
Updated on Mar 25, 2013 04:53PM
Oklahoma State University’s decision to not tell police or students about a serial sex offender on campus earned it the national Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Black Hole award for 2013.
SPJ, the nation’s largest and broadest-based journalism association, gives out the award to government entities that flagrantly violate the public’s right to know. The award was announced Friday morning.
(Disclosure: As a member of SPJ’s national Freedom of Information Committee, I served as one of the judges for the Black Hole award.)
In the case of Oklahoma...
Updated on Mar 21, 2013 04:59PM
Know someone who had done exemplary work promoting the cause of open government? Or how about a government agency or official who’s gone well out of their way at keeping the public in the dark?
The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists want to know, and give them their just rewards.
The chapter is seeking nominees for its annual Sunshine and Black Hole awards. The Sunshine Award recognizes those who have helped advance government transparency, either through legislation or grassroot efforts, such as fighting a law that would block access to public records, or t...
Updated on Mar 19, 2013 03:04PM
For Alfonso Moya-Breton, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) may be his ticket to getting out of prison sooner.
As The Salt Lake Tribune’s Brooke Adams reported, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell was wrong when she refused to consider Moya-Breton’s contention that his attorney didn’t tell him about a plea deal that could have shaved six years off his sentences for drug offenses.
Moya-Breton was able to find the evidence using FOIA as part of his effort to appeal his 30-year prison sentence.
Updated on Mar 14, 2013 01:46PM
Since October 2008, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing has disciplined 1,976 contractors, pharmacists, nurses, physicians and other licensed professionals.
The number represents an 123-person increase since November. The disciplinary actions are announced monthly by the division.
Contractors, including licensed plumbers and electricians, were largest group receiving sanctions from the state, with 858 — 43.4 percent — receiving some form of discipline from the state. The discipline ranged from losing a license to probation and warnings.
Updated on Mar 12, 2013 02:50PM
When President Barack Obama took office, open-government advocates were hopeful his administration would be more transparent than his predecessor’s.
While Obama did restore the presumption of openness in public records, reversing former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s directive to deny records requests if there was even the slightest way to legally do so, his administration hasn’t been as forthcoming as some would like.
As The First Amendment Center reports, an Associated Press analysis shows that his administration denied about one-third of the requests it received in 2012, a slight incr...
Utah legislator requiring mug-shot requesters to swear they won’t charge to remove pictures from websites
Updated on Apr 2, 2013 07:14PM
But others see it as a dangerous foray into restricting public records.
Ray, R-Clearfield, is sponsoring legislation that would require people requesting mug shots to sign an affidavit swearing they won’t require people to pay to have a mug shot removed from a website or magazine. Ray claimed some of the sites charge between $500-$1,000 to remove the pictures, a move he labeled a “scam.”
“You have somebody, for instance a husband and wife arrested on a domestic [violence...
Updated on Mar 7, 2013 03:17PM
Rep. Brian King attempted to address one of the issues that the GRAMA Working Group failed to in the wake of the HB477 debacle of 2011.
The Salt Lake City Democrat’s HB122 would have required a government body or agency to waive fees for records, once it has been proven that releasing the record would benefit the public more than an individual. Currently, the Government Records Access and Management Act states that entities “may” grant fee waivers when requests are made that are deemed to be in the public’s interest.
Instead, the measure has been thrown into interim study, where King and opponents of the bill ...
Updated on Mar 19, 2013 02:24PM
In Utah, when both the state Republican and Democratic parties line up against a bill, it’s a bad omen.
That’s what happened with Rep. Brian Greene’s attempt to make birth dates private records under the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). Greene, a Pleasant Grove Republican, claimed the bill was needed to protect Utahns from identity theft and elder abuse.
His bill, HB370, was supposed to make its second appearance before the House Political Subdivisions Committee Wednesday, but the bill has been sent to interim study.
Greene first presented the bill to the commi...
Updated on Mar 4, 2013 02:24PM
Orem’s decision to pump $24 million into the troubled UTOPIA fiber-optic network is gaining attention, but not because of the amount of money.
Rather, it was the lack of a public hearing — or even formal council vote — to take the action.
The city agreed Tuesday to bond for $24 million, as part of its 2010 commitment to support the network. Orem is one of several Utah cities that are part of the UTOPIA consortium.
But the agreement wasn’t a formal vote of the City Council. The council rather gave its verbal consent to the bond issue, and there was no public hearing to find out if ...
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