Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is speaking out against proposed changes to the state’s open records law, which were added to the state budget by Republican lawmakers late Thursday evening.
The provision would shield most communications and records held by elected officials from the state’s open records law. It includes documents such as drafting files on state legislation, a common source used by journalists and watchdog groups to see who had input in creating bills passed by lawmakers. Republicans have so far refused to say who asked for the changes to be added to the budget.
In a statement released this morning, Schimel said “transparency is the cornerstone of democracy and the provisions in the Budget Bill limiting access to public records move Wisconsin in the wrong direction.”
Schimel has recently made open government issues a focus of his office, launching an “Office of Open Government” in June that’s designed to help the public more easily access government records.