Big water planning would be done completely in secret in new “Closed Door” Senate bill.

The Utah Transparency Project will offer real-time assessments of legislation that could either increase or decrease public access to government records and meetings.

The Utah Transparency Project will use these symbols to rate legislation on its openness to the citizenry.

Senate Bill 211 — Generational Water Infrastructure Amendments (Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton)

This bill creates two new entities, a Water District Water Development Council and a Utah water agent, vests them with sweeping power to plan projects impacting one of Utah’s most vital issues, and then exempts their work from the Open Meetings Act and grants significant exemptions to Utah open records law. The council is created to advise water districts on “generational water infrastructure.”

That is, priorities such as pipelines and dams. This bill expressly exempts the council from the Open Meetings Act and the Government Records Access and Management Act. The water agent, meanwhile, can negotiate to import water to Utah from other states and that work would be mostly exempt from GRAMA. These are important decisions with a significant public impact and you should be able to have input on the future of these big water projects.

To give these two entities so much power and then to let them do their business in secret is not in the best interest of the state or its taxpayers. The Utah Transparency Project deems this bill a “Closed Door” — and locked tight.