The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), the state’s leading watchdog for government transparency and accountability, praises the Wisconsin Senate’s passage of The Open Government Protection Act (Senate Bill 117). The legislation would make clear that a party “prevails,” and may recover their attorney fees under state law, when a government agency releases records after a lawsuit is filed. The bill passed unanimously on a voice vote.
The bill is supported by WILL, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, Wisconsin Newspapers Association, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Wisconsin Transparency Project, Americans for Prosperity, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Wisconsin Realtors Association, and the ACLU of Wisconsin.
The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Lucas Vebber, stated, “The ability to request public records is vital to ensuring transparent and accountable government. This legislation will continue ensuring that government actors produce public records in a timely manner. We are excited to see this important bipartisan reform pass the State Senate unanimously, and hope the Assembly will quickly follow suit so this can get to the Governor’s desk.”
- WILL Testimony in Support of Open Government Protection Act – March 16, 2023
- WILL Supports Open Government Protection Act – February 14, 2023
- Broken Records: A Call for Legislative Reform in Wisconsin Public Records Law – July 2022