House Bill 242:
Freedom of Information
Senate sponsor, Unknown
house district 13, "Democrat".
Government entities currently abuse a loophole in
Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) to
charge exorbitant fees for providing information to the public.
HB 242 would begin to limit the games they play to avoid
openness and accountability.
bill was "held" by House Monarchess Rebecca Lockhart's
political subdivisions committee, and died in the rules
committee. UT Gun Rights
supported this bill. See its
bill status page.
To contact your statutators,
this page ("F-5" on most browsers) to
see latest version.
Last updated: 3/14/14
Click on picture to enlarge.
Government Blocking Legitimate
Requests for Information
is Utah's version of the federal
Information Act. It empowers citizens to request,
and receive, vital information on the oft-unseen
communications and activities of state and local government
agencies and officials.
Unfortunately, government entities currently abuse a loophole in
sometimes exorbitant fees
for providing public information to... the public.
According to Sheryl Worsley, president of the Utah Headliners
Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists:
"Journalists and sometimes citizens
alike are being priced out of the ability to check on
bill to lower costs for records requests stalls", Lee
Davidson, Salt Lake Tribune, 2/4/14.
Bill Would Limit Abuse
HB 242 would begin to limit the games government agencies can play in
charging fees; particularly if the requested information is to
be shared with others.
Here is the proposed statutory change
56-62 of the bill
(deleted language has strikethrough and new proposed language
is underlined and italicized):
"(4) A governmental entity [may] shall fulfill
a record request without charge [and
is encouraged to do so when] if it
(a) releasing the record primarily
benefits the public rather than a person;
individual requesting the record is the subject of the record,
or an individual specified in Subsection 63G-2-202 (1) or (2);
(c) the requester's legal rights are directly implicated
by the information in the record, and the requester is
In this case, "shall" is a more useful
word than "may". Citizens should be encouraged, not
financially penalized, to access and share information with
the public — particularly when they already paid for it to
exist in the first place.
UT Gun Rights views HB 242 as a step
in the right direction.
GRAMA Assists Gun Owners in Revealing Government
Remember this shocker? It was revealed
through a citizen
Much of the secrets UT Gun Rights has
been able to reveal is due to citizen GRAMA requests.
Consider just a few examples:
The House and Senate Monarchs were
pressured to release their secretive veto override polling
results on last year's HB 76 S1 (Carry "Unloaded" Firearms
Concealed). In secret emails, statutators and other
officials admitted to hiding behind Executive Monarch
Herbert's veto and identified secretive "back channels"
through which they conduct business. See page 9 of
Utah Government Corruption Report".
The Utah Sheriffs' Association
secretly voted to oppose HB 76 S1 in the secretive Law
[sic] Enforcement Legislative
Committee (LELC). See "Why
Did Utah's Sheriffs Oppose HB 76?"
W. Clark Aposhian, Chairman of the
Utah Shooting Sports Council, appeared to secretively
facilitate opposition to HB 76, in a transcript of a March
15, 2013 communication between Clark Aposhian and Mike
Mower, Herbert's Deputy for Community Outreach. See
Would the USSC Chair Privately Lobby Against HB 76 S1?"
Ogden police chief Gary Williams' secret email was
exposed, clearly fingering Senate Monarch Wayne
as the senate's center of power, and is poised to poised
to seize more power this session. See "Monarch
Niederhauser Violates Your Senate Statutators!"
GRAMA is potent tool to expose the nefarious activities of
politicians. Time to give it more teeth.
Learn More About GRAMA
GRAMA can get a titch cranky when she's
Did your statutory servant claim that
some organization you've never heard of supports his bill?
Did your city council reference a discussion with a lobbyist
you were not privy to?
Does your county attorney seem to be
playing favorites with a particular group or agenda?
If your gut tells you that there is
more to the issue than meets the eye, there probably is. So
what do you do about it?
GRAMA is a useful tool in exposing the
discussions and actions of your elected and unelected
servants, lobbyists, and special interest groups.
To help you
feel confident in making your own GRAMA request, see
Your GRAMA Never Taught You.
Appropriate Action: Contact
The Two People Who Own the Statutarium ("legislature")
2013 Utah Government Corruption Report amply demonstrates,
two monarchs abuse and dominate the house and senate and work
together to destroy your rights:
house speaker Rebecca Lockhart and
senate president Wayne Niederhauser. Contrary to what you
learned in civics class, your house and senate statutators
merely serve their gun control agenda.
How can two people possibly exercise
such control? As one example, the house speaker and senate
president alone appoint and remove EVERY member of EVERY
committee. Lockhart and Niederhauser are empowered to do this
without any review or confirmation process.
Sources: “The general duties of the
Speaker are to:... appoint the members of committees…” (House
Rules 1-3-102. Duties of the speaker) and “The general
duties of the president are to:… appoint the members of
Duties of the president)
Consider the vast implications of this
incredible power! No bill may be voted on in the house or
senate without going through a committee. As a result, bills
live or die almost entirely upon the calculated orders of
these two monarchs.
Their powers are so extreme, no
provision exists in the house or senate rules to fire the
monarchs before their two-year terms are over. They lord over
each body, trade favors, and sell your rights; all while
pretending that decisions are made by the will of the majority
instead of their monarchial authority.
political buck stops with Lockhart and Niederhauser for
failing to advance positive gun owner bills, and for every gun
control bill enacted. Until more statutators are motivated to
oppose the iron fists of the monarchs’ near absolute power,
your rights will continue to be undermined.
Because your house and senate statutators
merely serve their will and agenda, contacting them is often
just a courtesy call. Only two people hold the power
over Utah's statutarium ("legislature"):
For House Monarchess Rebecca Lockhart's contact
information (and the rest of the house statutators),
click here. For Senate Monarch Wayne
Niederhauser's contact information
(and the rest of the senate statutators),
Other views & opinions to compare and contrast:
Utah Political Capitol, Weber
Click here to go back
to The 2014 Bill Tracking Page: The Good, The Bad, and The