VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
July 5, 2015
Gov. Scott Walker
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos
Dear Gov. Walker, Sen. Fitzgerald and Rep. Vos:
The Madison professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists applauds your decision to remove in its entirety language from the 2015-17 budget that would alter the state’s open records law. We are pleased that you listened to us and to the broad spectrum of opponents – liberal and conservative interest groups, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, open government advocates and journalists, and others — to the changes proposed by the Joint Finance Committee.
Your decision is a victory for open government and government transparency. In that spirit, we encourage all elected officials and others involved in preparing this language to acknowledge their roles in the process.
In the future, any consideration of changes to the open records law should take place in public and with the public, and should focus on increasing openness and transparency rather than the opposite.
Mark Pitsch, president, SPJ Madison; Joe Radske, director, SPJ Region 6