Thursday, March 24, 2011

Senator is "extremely optimistic" about HB477 repeal

Posted By on March 24, 2011, 1:57 PM

Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, expressed optimism that the controversial open-government records bill will be repealed in Friday’s special legislative session.---

Earlier in the week Governor Gary Herbert announced a special session of the Legislature would be called for the express purpose of repealing House Bill 477, the bill rushed through the waning days of the session that would have re-written Utah open-government records law—Government Records and Access Management Act--to favor government secrecy over the public’s right to know. Senate leadership, however, expressed that they would not repeal the bill until a replacement bill was ready to take its place--setting up a showdown some are calling “GRAMAgeddon.”

With 15 votes needed to repeal HB477 many expect a close vote in Friday’s session. Senator Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, who also sits on the special working group studying GRAMA, says, however, that he is “extremely optimistic” about the repeal.

Urquhart also wants to push for the bill to be studied through the entire interim and not brought until the 2012 session. “Do we need to pass something in the next two, three or four months? I would rather let’s really study this,” Urquhart says. “Let’s take the year, study it, look at best practices and come in the next general session with some ideas.”

The special session will be Friday, March 25 at the Utah State Capitol, 350 N. State. Visit the Legislature’s main page for live audio and video links.

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