POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Legislation to exclude government employees’ daily calendars from public record moves forward

Feb 21, 2024, 3:48 PM | Updated: 3:53 pm

small utah flag shown, utah senate will hear a bill about public record laws...

A small version of the new state flag sits on a desk in the the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah State Senate committee recommended a bill on Tuesday that seeks to make sure a government employee’s daily calendar is not subject to an open records request. 

State Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, is sponsoring the bill, S.B. 240.

Bramble told a Senate committee that existing law already excludes daily calendars and personal notes from the public record.

“For those that believe that we’re somehow changing the law, I would proffer to the committee that this is clarifying what the longstanding interpretation and practice of the law has been,” Bramble said.

But Bramble said the State Records Committee made a decision last year that appears contrary to the existing law.

The committee ordered State Attorney General Sean Reyes to turn over his calendar as part of an investigation by KSL.

A hearing into Reyes’ appeal of the order is scheduled for next week. 

“If it’s involved in the people’s business and you’re a legislator and there’s a communication, text message, email, written, voice memo, that would constitute a record under GRAMA. But your personal communications are not a record under GRAMA,” Bramble said.

State Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, chairs the committee that heard the proposal. He had a rebuke for state agencies regarding open records.

“I’m ashamed of a lot of our state agencies. They’re ridiculous. The whole idea of GRAMA is that records should be presumed to be publicly available. And they treat them, even to me, just the opposite,” Weiler said.

The bill now goes to the Utah Senate.

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Legislation to exclude government employees’ daily calendars from public record moves forward