November 20th, 2012
Utah Legislature relents, releases redistricting documents
By Donald W. Meyers
Utah’s open-government advocates got something After a year-long fight, the Utah State Legislature has finally released 16,000 pages of documents related to the state’s redistricting efforts.
The decision to release the documents came after the Utah Democratic Party threatened to sue the state for access to the record. Lawmakers refused to turn over the records until a $9,250 bill for compiling the data was paid.
Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act allows fees to be waived if the records request benefits the public. Legislators argued that the Democratic Party’s request failed that test, because they believed it was for a political purposes. But isn’t calling out a Republican-dominated Legislature that drew congressional and legsilative district lines behind closed doors a public benefit?
Lawmakers also said they decided to dump the data online after media outlets filed records requests, which convinced them that there was a public demand for the records.
Click here to see the documents.