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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Utah Rushes through HB 477


Saccopoo
03-08-2011, 11:47 PM
Hot on the heels of the conviction of Tim DeChristopher for his act of civil disobedience, the Utah legislature rushes through House Bill 477, which will limit/restrict public access to numerous types of communications (mostly the electronic type, including text messages, video chats, etc.) made by/to Utah legislative members.

This bill was introduced last last Tuesday night (March 1, 2010). It was then ramrodded through the approval process in record time, passing through the Rules Committee on Wednesday, March 2, the House on March 3 and the Senate on Friday, March 4. No more than 30 minutes of discussion time was logged regarding the bill while on either floor, and Governor Gary Herbert signed the bill tonight no less than several hours ago.

The Bill had/has set off state wide protests from people of both political parties, and did not hear one supportive viewpoint on the House or Senate floor, but passed through with little resistance by the elected officials.

This bill effectively nullifies the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), and effectively destroys the accessibility to elected Utah state officials communications and creates substantial barriers in attempting to file GRAMA requests.

And so goes accountability in state government...

Welcome to Utah. Sieg Heil!

Related links:
http://utahpoliticalsummary.com/2011/03/weighing-in-on-h-b-477-aka-utah-gramas-death-blow/
A very detailed analysis of the Bill by an attorney.

http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/blog-5226-gov-herbert-veto-the-legislatures-secrecy-grab-in-hb-477.html

(Personally, methinks someone is making a quick effort in attempting to cover their ass in the wake of the DeChristopher trial as it's been long and widely rumored that the state officials have been in cahoots with the BLM land lease program. Knowing that a conviction of DeChristopher would bring in tight legal inspection of the entire land lease (grab) process here in Utah that resulted in the guilty verdict of DeChristopher, it looks like HB 477 is a quick and decisive solution to any type of information access that could have been made available and could have resulted in severe illegalities on the part of state and federal government officials tied to the BLM program. That's just my conspiracy theory opinion on the matter, but the coincidence of the introduction of the bill on the day of the conviction leads one to ponder such possibilities...)