Herbert signs changes to Utah open records law

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill changing the state’s open records law only hours after more than 100 people rallied against the bill in the Capitol rotunda.House Bill 477 makes the text messages and voice mails of government officials private and restricts access to most communication, including e-mails, between legislators and staff or constituents. Fees are also increased significantly by the law that becomes effective July 1.Herbert says revisions can be made to the law before its effective date.Prior to the signing Tuesday, multiple speakers at a rally demanded a veto.Utahns for Ethical Government board member Kim Burningham says the law dramatically reduces transparency in state government. Just because the effective date was delayed doesn’t make the changes less draconian.

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