Utah Governor Signs Controversial Bill Cutting Public Access to Info

March 9, 2011

Open government advocates expressed shock after Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed a revision of that state's government records law late Wednesday. It exempts state legislators and electronic communications, and sets a presumption in favor of secrecy and against openness.

Former National Freedom of Information director Coalition Charles N. Davis said the bill "puts Utah in a class of one, alone in an anti-democratic zone in which the governors enjoy almost carte blanche over what information they deign to share with the rabble.”

“We are beyond astonished not only by the scope of this backward law, but also by the underhanded, secretive and arrogant way it was adopted,” said Lucy Dalglish, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press executive director.