Sweeping, surprise change: Republicans approve limiting public access to records

MADISON -- Nearly all records created by state and local elected officials would not be subject to the Wisconsin open records law under a sweeping surprise change Republicans have approved as an amendment to the state budget.

The changes were part of a 24-page final motion to the budget passed by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee on Thursday, July 2nd.

Numerous new exemptions would be extended to the 132 members of the Legislature, their staff, support agencies, and all other state and local government officials, including Governor Scott Walker.

Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, calls the changes a "full-frontal assault on the open records law as it pertains to the state Legislature and other agencies of government."