Assembly Speaker: Republican Leaders Knew Open Records Changes Were Coming

Vos Also Reiterates That Changes Will Be Removed From Budget

Image courtesy of Wisconsin State Legislature

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Monday that Republican legislative leaders knew in advance about sweeping changes to Wisconsin’s open records laws that were added to the budget last week.

The changes would have effectively gutted the state’s open records law, blocking access to a variety of government documents including emails, research and drafts of legislation. Speaking on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Joy Cardin Show,” Vos said Republicans made a mistake by adding it to the budget last week.

“We took it out, and it’s all going to go back to the way it was before,” said Vos.

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At the same time, Vos defended the substance of the changes, saying Republicans pushed them in part to have a more collaborative process between legislators and staff and in part to prevent constituent emails from being publicized.

“They should know that the comments that they make and the words that they say have some ability to be protected so they can’t be targeted when they write their elected official,” said Vos.

Vos said he still wanted a special committee to study the issue.