If you’ve been reading the newspapers or listening to local radio or TV news this past month, you’ve heard about House Bill 477. I’ve read over this bill, and all I can say is that something this massive (over 60 pages!) could not have been effectively read, much less discussed, in committee in one day’s time.
As I understand it, the aim of the bill was to update our decades-old GRAMA laws, those laws which provide for government records to be stored and made accessible to citizens and organizations upon request. Back when GRAMA was passed, technology as we know it today was very different. Updating the law to cover cell phones, emails, and text messages makes sense. But somewhere in the process of updating, the intent was changed from “providing transparency and accountability in public service” to “saving a few dollars and providing privacy protection to public servants.” In effect, instead of updating the law, HB477 reduced it to trivial meaninglessness.
Efforts are underway, by both liberals and conservatives, to collect enough signatures to repeal the law by referendum (nearly 100,000 from across the state). We’ll need volunteers in Tooele to make this happen as well. If you’re interested in helping, please sign up at www.savegrama.org.