More Light For Wyoming Sunshine Laws
Government watchdogs and the general public in Wyoming have new tools to keep track of what agencies and boards are doing. The budget session that ended Thursday advanced two bills that address concerns rising out of the digital age.
Dan Neal with the Equality State Policy Center says one bill bans public meetings from happening electronically unless the public can sit in and either hear or read the discussion as it happens. The second bill deals with the issue of government emails being public records.
“It makes clear that just because it’s electronic, if it’s discussing public business, people will have access to that now, guaranteed.”
Neal describes the new sunshine bills as products of political compromise. He had hoped there would be a deadline to provide the records requested, and hopes that can be discussed in the future.
“Maybe some time in the future these public officials get more comfortable with the whole idea of it, but it’s headway. This is a productive session for the public.”
Neal says when someone makes a public records request, it has to be acknowledged within seven days.