Mar 21 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - Shortly before 5:00 p.m. today, Governor Gary Herbert notified legislative leaders that he will call the Utah State Legislature into a special session to repeal HB477, Government Records Amendments. The formal call will be for Friday, March 25, at noon at the Utah State Capitol.
"It is clear to me that HB477, both in process and substance, has resulted in a loss of public confidence," the Governor said. "By repealing HB477 and forming a working group, the Utah State Legislature now has the opportunity to work with the media and the public to restore that confidence."
In a formal statement released earlier today, the Governor said, "I expect all stakeholders to engage as honest brokers in good faith-putting aside personal bias and cynicism-for deliberative, open discussion. The media has committed to finding the right outcome. The Legislature has committed to the same. I expect the public to engage and protect their rights."
As to the Legislature's earlier announcement of the working group's membership, the Governor said, "I'm pleased. It looks like a broad-based group and a process where everyone's voice can be heard. This will probably be one of the most thorough and deliberative processes on any single issue in recent memory."
The Governor has indicated his desire that the working group focus on three specific principles. First, any modifications to GRAMA must protect the public's right to know because transparent and accountable government is essential. Second, they must protect every individual's legitimate right to privacy. Third, they must protect taxpayers against excessive costs of overreaching or unwarranted "fishing expeditions."