Monday - March 13, 2017 9:01 am

Lawmakers circumventing Wisconsin's open meetings laws

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Wisconsin's open meetings laws are pretty clear. Basically, they insist that the people's business be done in a public forum. But some of our elected representatives would rather you not know what they are doing. Members of the Assembly Corrections Committee plan a tour of Wisconsin's troubled yourth prison. They want to see first-hand the conditions of this facility, which is currently the subject of a federal investigation alleging physical and sexual assaults of inmates by guards. It is good that our legislators are finally looking into these long-standing problems, but it is troubling that they would prefer to do so in private. So they have developed a plan to circumvent Wisconsin's open meetings laws. Instead of all of the members of the committee visiting the prison at once, which would make it a public meeting, they have decicded to go halvsies. Today, five members of the 11 member committee, not enough to constitute a forum, will tour Lincoln Hills. The remaining members of the committee will tour later. This allows members of the committee to deny reporter's access to the tour. But we the public should have access, and we should be outraged they are purposely avoiding complying with the law, especially as we begin Sunshine Week. They should let the sun shine in on Lincoln Hills.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.