Eric S. Peterson reports that a bill in the Utah legislature, HB 477, has been delayed.
Rep. John Dougall, R-Highland, is a legislator who does not like Big Brother snooping into the private lives of citizens—or Big Media, for that matter. In introducing his sweeping rewrite of Utah’s 20-year-old open government law, Dougall asked his fellow legislators: “Are you aware that when a constituent sends you an e-mail, concerned about a program and they disclose that their child has a serious disease, that that could be disclosed and put onto the front page of the newspaper?”
Less than 48 hours later, Dougall’s bill had shot like a laser from committee to the Senate floor, where Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, made the same argument in favor of constituent’s privacy, as he cast the final vote to send the bill to the governor’s desk. As of press time, due to public pressure and negotiation from Gov. Gary Herbert, the Senate recalled House Bill 477 with a plan to delay implementation until July 1. They plan to form a working group to study the issue more carefully and hope to call a special session to address final changes before that time.
Read more in the Salt Lake City Weekly.