|Cover Art for a CD by The Brady Bunch|
The Summit was structured as a series of panel discussions. Topics included an overview of our state's public records law, open government and public safety, public records in the modern era, the cost of open government, and an overview of our state's open meetings law.
Here are some of my impressions from the Summit:
- All 50 states have public record laws
- Open records law has evolved in Wisconsin
- 1981 was the last year that Wisconsin's public records law was substantially changed
- A majority of the speakers feel that our state's open record laws are working very well; a few speakers advocated for updating the statutes, especially relating to current technology
- Concern was expressed by several speakers about the current legislative climate relating to open government
- With so many elected governmental bodies in our state, education for record custodians is an ongoing challenge, so it should become a top priority
- Open meetings and public record laws work "hand-in-glove," so any changes to one will require changes to the other
- Attorney General Schimel closed the Summit by saying he plans to convene smaller groups to continue these open government discussions
And if I've given you an "ear worm" by my use of The Brady Bunch's song "It's a Sunshine Day," I do apologize.
Denise Anton Wright, Public Library Development