Utah Legislature relents, releases redistricting documents

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.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Reddit


Newest Posts

Part three: critiquing the code of ethics August 20, 2014, 1:47 pm
Alleged police attacks on journalists are strikes on democracy August 14, 2014, 3:36 pm
Dear journalism student: Don’t worry, be happy August 13, 2014, 8:54 pm
Ethics of covering suicides August 13, 2014, 4:23 pm
The teeth sink in, and don’t let go August 13, 2014, 5:37 am
The debate on a Twitter edit tool August 6, 2014, 10:01 pm
Why must we be reminded of evil that still haunts this country? August 4, 2014, 2:51 am

Copyright © 2007-2014 Society of Professional Journalists. All Rights Reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ