Your Right to Know: Disciplined workers should be named

When state employees misbehave, does the public have a right to know who they are? Two state agencies are answering that question in different ways.

Both the state Department of Justice and Department of Natural Resources have in the recent past blacked out the names of state workers from records of disciplinary actions released to the media. The agencies claimed the public interest was “sufficiently served” by releasing these redacted records.


Wisc State Auditor: Kudos due as state leaps on transparency index

Wisconsin received an A- when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2014: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the fifth annual report of its kind by the WISPIRG Foundation.

The state of Wisconsin has made great progress in becoming more transparent about where public money goes, providing citizens with the information they need to hold elected officials and recipients of public subsidies accountable.


Opinion: Student Journalists Prod officials about open government

As part of national Sunshine Week, members of the Madison student and professional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists fanned out across the capital city, handing out fortune cookies.

We dropped a handful in the offices of elected officials, from the Madison School Board to Gov. Scott Walker, as well as to some unelected boards such as the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.


Your Right to Know: Wisconsin Local Government Center a valuable resource

Each election year in Wisconsin, about one-third of the local government offices on the ballot will be filled by newcomers — driven to office by a reformer’s zeal or a desire to serve their friends and neighbors. And some of them will know little about the laws that govern the conduct of local government.

That’s where the UW-Extension’s Local Government Center steps in.


Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee argue public records law case at Supreme Court

From Journal Sentinel Online:

Who should bear the cost of censoring Milwaukee police reports requested by the media under Wisconsin's public records law?

Lawyers for the city and the Journal Sentinel argued both sides of that question Tuesday before the state Supreme Court, whose decision on the matter could have a significant impact on government accountability reporting.


Petition names go public in Wisconsin recall

From Los Angeles Time Nation Now:

The Wisconsin recall petitions — consisting of more than 1 million names asking to recall Gov. Scott Walker, the lieutenant governor and four state senators — have been posted online by state election officials, even though signers raised questions about how the disclosures might affect their personal security.


Wisconsin State Supreme Court to hear case on public record fees

From The Journal Sentinel:

The state Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear arguments over whether previous Supreme Court decisions authorized government officials to charge for time spent by employees to separate and redact confidential information from public records.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the Journal Sentinel over fees the City of Milwaukee charged for public records.