By Pam Greenberg

This week, Utah lawmakers began posting their email correspondence for anyone to see on the legislature’s website. An online repository was created for the emails, after S.B. 94, sponsored by Senator Curt Bramble was enacted last year. It provides that legislators may voluntarily transfer their emails to the public site.

It provides that legislators may voluntarily transfer their emails to the public site.Utah Senator Curt Bramble

Using the repository will make it easier for legislators to provide access to emails considered public records under the state’s Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). For example, responses to repeated requests about the same topic, such as redistricting, or email correspondence with lengthy attachments, could be transferred to the repository, saving time and paper.

A few local government officials and Florida Governor Rick Scott have also made their email correspondence publicly available via the web. Scott’s  Project Sunburst website contains emails of Governor Scott and his key staff. The emails on the Florida site generally discuss only routine meeting notices, media call logs, news releases or are emails received from citizens.

Pam Greenberg is a senior fellow at NCSL, where she monitors legislative information technology, privacy, public records and Internet policy issues, topics she has written about extensively

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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.


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