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Preserve GRAMA

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More openness in government, not less, is what is needed to preserve American democracy and protect the public from politicians and bureaucrats who often tend to forget they represent and work for taxpayers.

13 years ago, Utah lawmakers wisely passed an exemplary open records law known as the Government Records Access and Management Act, or GRAMA. Now, a new generation of legislators, under the guise of updating the law for the electronic age, is poised to make sweeping changes in GRAMA.

In essence, they would impose restrictions on certain records, which in KSL’s view, would inevitably lead to greater secrecy in government.

While there is a degree of merit in having the legislature’s GRAMA Task Force explore issues relating to fees, retrieval time and electronic records, there is no valid justification for putting certain records off limits. Especially disturbing is the idea of not allowing access to E-mail exchanges between elected officials and their staffs or constituents.

Sadly, there’s a natural tendency among those in political power to control information, mainly because that’s the most effective way for them to maintain power over those they govern. For more than a dozen years, GRAMA has worked well to counter those inherent tendencies. For the well-being of all Utahns, it is a law that should be strengthened - not diluted!

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