Wyoming government corruption
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Cheyenne, WY Two bills intended to strengthen the Wyoming Public Meeting Law and Wyoming Sunshine Law passed the first reading in the House this week. The public records section of the bill would require existing documents to be provided within seven working days. If a request for new data or a large sampling would take longer than seven days an answer on how much longer such an undertaking would require must be submitted within a week to the requester. The open meetings section of the bill would reduce the required notification period for an emergency meeting from 24 to 12 hours. In addition lawmakers would no longer be required to record audio of executive sessions, and they may instead opt to keep traditional minutes which would still only be released with a judge's order. 
Cheyenne, WY This past week, the Wyoming Supreme Court issued its ruling in Freudenthal v. Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc., establishing that the governor could not exempt draft legislation documentation under the deliberative process exemption. However, the court never arrived at the question of the existence of a deliberative process exemption in Wyoming, instead deciding that the case was decided prior to arriving at the question.
Cheyenne, WY On Friday, Novemeber 20, the Wyoming Supreme Court announced a change to its rules for responding to public records requests for case information in order to better protect the privacy of individuals. The court decided in January to begin redacting personal information from court files, including social security numbers and other financial information as well as home addresses, birth dates, and the names of minors and children. While the court argues that the steps were better made to protect personal privacy, many members of the media claim that the rule goes too far. 
The ruling by Judge Scott Skavdahl comes in a lawsuit filed by the Casper Star-Tribune. The newspaper was denied access to court documents in a child endangerment case."
The Sheridan Press is seeking public access to booking photographs in the county sheriff's office.
The newspaper has filed a petition for declaratory judgment in district court to determine whether booking photographs in the possession and control of the sheriff are subject to the Wyoming Public Records Act.
Sheridan County Sheriff Dave Hofmeier has told The Sheridan Press that it is not the policy of his office to release booking photographs."
"Proponents of transparency in government are forming a nonprofit called the Wyoming Coalition for Open Government to advocate for open government in Wyoming.
Founders will launch the new group at a press conference Thursday at the Wyoming state Capitol. Jim Angell, a founder of the coalition and director of the Wyoming Press Association, says the group is made up of organizations including the Press Association, Wyoming newspapers, the League of Women Voters and the Equality State Policy Center. The Associated Press is also a member."
"The newly formed Wyoming Coalition for Open Government will work to promote and defend transparency in Wyoming government while also educating citizens about the value and use of the state's open-government laws, founders of the group said.
Directors of the coalition, known as WCOG, will launch the new group at a press conference Thursday at the Wyoming state Capitol. The coalition will issue its first award for government openness, called the "Champion of the First Amendment Award," and its first award for an entity it believes has stymied openness, called the "Black Hole Award."
The coalition, which is modeled after similar groups in other states, is made up of organizations and individuals who share an interest in defending public access to government, said Jim Angell, a founder of the coalition and director of the Wyoming Press Association."
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