Republican lawmakers are backing a bill that would render a controversial Wisconsin Supreme Court decision obsolete by loosening limits on when people who sue over open records requests can recover attorney’s fees.
Tag: open records
Your Right to Know: Public’s trust was abused over police videos
On Sunday, August 14, after a night of unrest prompted by the fatal police shooting of a black man, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said his review of body camera video of the incident proved the officer had acted appropriately. “The individual did turn toward the officer with a firearm in his hand,” Flynn stated, […]
Your Right to Know: Release Wisconsin John Doe II case records now
One of the most important court decisions in Wisconsin political history was argued largely in secret. The arguments were made in briefs that were heavily redacted or entirely shielded from public view. The evidence was hidden. Most of the litigants were anonymous.
Your Right to Know: Some lawmakers still crave secrecy
Last year on July 2, the state Legislature launched a sneak attack on Wisconsin’s open records law, effectively seeking to exempt legislators from its reach. That effort died following a huge public backlash. But some lawmakers, it’s clear, remain actively hostile to the state’s tradition of open government.
Your Right to Know: Ruling restores access to accident report data
A Wisconsin court of appeals has finally put to rest some of the questions over what information must be withheld under the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, or DPPA. Its recent decision ends years of confusion in a way that squares with the state’s traditions of openness — and with common sense.
Your Right to Know: State should support student expression
Two years ago, the Fond du Lac School District unveiled new guidelines requiring administrative review and approval before the publication of any student media. The reaction by students was swift, democratic and effective. Within days, they had publicized the change online, presented their case at a school board meeting, appeared on local media, and gathered […]
After chaotic year, open records advocates cheer progress, honor attorney Robert J. Dreps as Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog
Victories in open government, spearheaded by investigative journalism and citizen activism in a year of unprecedented attacks on government transparency, were celebrated by journalists, members of the public and champions of public records laws at the sixth annual Watchdog Awards Wednesday evening in Madison.
Your Right to Know: Walker’s records directive is good news
Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of open government and the people’s right to know, got an unexpected and welcome beam of hope in mid-March when Gov. Scott Walker issued an executive order directing state agencies to speed up responses to public records requests and to track them to show their performance.
Your Right to Know: Records advocates plan traveling show
Among the many remarkable things about the defeat of the proposed overhaul of the Wisconsin Public Records Law over the July 4 weekend last summer was the way the media, open government groups, advocacy organizations on the left and right, and the public coalesced to point out how ill-conceived the idea was.
Wisconsin open government advocates hit the road to boost public’s understanding and use of open records laws
Residents across Wisconsin are invited to free events exploring the importance of open records laws, and how to use them to obtain critical information about the actions of government.
Your Right to Know: Concerns linger over ‘transitory’ records
The last six months have been a roller coaster for Wisconsin’s open records law. After the Legislature’s failed attack on the law over the Independence Day holiday, August brought a new threat. A little-known state board expanded the definition of “transitory records,” which can be immediately destroyed. Once this action was revealed, there was an […]
Former cabinet members: Top Scott Walker aide ordered them to avoid state email, phones
Two former members of Gov. Scott Walker’s cabinet say the administration has had a policy of communicating official business through private channels. The allegations come as the Walker administration faces criticism for cutting public access to internal text messages and other so-called transitory state records.