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Home / Articles / News / News Articles /  HB477: Continuing Coverage
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HB477: Continuing Coverage

City Weekly reports on House Bill 477

By Rachel Piper
Posted // March 7,2011 -

"Secrets secrets are no fun/ Secrets secrets hurt someone."

You might remember that little ditty from grade school, but the Utah Legislature forgot the lesson (or are pointedly ignoring it) as House Bill 477 sped through the House and the Senate last week, and was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert March 8 despite widespread public opposition. The bill will make government records less available and more expensive. Click below for City Weekly's coverage of the issue, and check back throughout the week for the latest updates.

The National Society of Professional Journalist's recently "awarded" the Utah Legislature and Gov. Gary Herbert with its first-ever Black Hole award for contributions to government secrecy.

You can sign up to volunteer or donate to the cause to overturn HB 477 at SaveGRAMA.com.

March 24
Green Hole Rally: e-signatures and HB477
- another rally planned to protest HB 477 and the banning of e-signatures in referendum campaigns

March 23
GRAMA Bama
- City Weekly founder John Saltas calls Utah lawmakers "tyrants"

March 23
Divisions apparent in first HB477 group meeting
- Details on the first meeting of the work group

March 23
Hits and Misses: Library Records, Defending HB477 & Sam Weller's: Airport
- Does Lt. Greg Bell understand ethics in government?

March 21
Ethics reform group sues state
-how ethics reform, Utah citizens' right to referendum and HB 477 tie together

March 21
HB 477 Work Group Formed
- Learn out about the official body tasked with cleaning up the GRAMA/HB477 mess

March 17
Wimmer's come to Jesus moment on HB 477
-Rep. Carl Wimmer--who voted for HB 477--is the first to call for full repeal

March 10
Hundreds Sing in Utah Capitol at Govt Secrecy Protest-Videos
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Hundreds gathered at the Utah Capitol tonight protesting HB 477

Tuesday March 10
What changed John Dougall's mind on GRAMA?
-The sponsor of HB 477 hasn't always supported government secrecy.

Tuesday March 10
City Weekly on the Street: Citizens React to HB 477
-What Utahns are saying about the Legislature's secrecy grab

Tuesday March 9
Private Eye: Status Update

-With all the crazy stuff they're likely texting, it's no wonder the Capitol Hill goons want some privacy.

Tuesday March 9
Hits and Misses: Utahns Raising Hell, the Snowball Mystery, Profitable Pablum

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Are we noticing similarities between Utah and Libya?

Monday March 8
HB477 Rally: photo slide show and video
-Utahns protest at the Capitol Rotunda against the bill

Monday March 7
HB477 Delayed
-Media representative hopes Legislature will agree upon a "simple fix" to ease privacy concerns

Monday March 7
Recalling 477: It's Gonna Take a Lotta Love
-The backpedaling on 477 has begun, but how much are legislators willing to grovel?

Monday March 7
Lawmakers who regret HB477

-Multiple legislators have expressed regret regarding their votes in favor of HB 477

Monday March 7
Rallies planned to oppose Legislature's secrecy grab

-H
ow to get informed and involved

Saturday March 5
HB 477: Tastes like tyranny

-Why did a bill so big get rushed through the Legislature?

Saturday March 5
Gov Herbert: Veto the Legislature's secrecy grab

-A rebuttal to the Utah Senate's misleading explanation for HB477

Thursday March 3
Bill seeks to overhaul open-government record laws
-City Weekly's initial report on HB477

 
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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // March 10,2011 at 06:56

Here is Similar Story

HB477 changes GRAMA to disallow certain types of electronic communication. Anytime we allow a loophole in the law, in my experience, that loophole will be used by those who are dishonest to try to hide what they are doing. The government entity that I was investigating did anything they could to get out of filling my GRAMA request. With HB477, it will be easy to send information in a way that will keep it from being discovered.

 

Posted // March 10,2011 at 14:51 - That's absolutely right. Declaring that some records are not private because of the medium on which they were sent or are contained is giving a license and avenue for secrecy. The trend in open, civilized nations for the past two decades has been to rule that records are public if they contain public information regardless of medium.

 

 
 
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