April: Record location fees invite abuses

It happens all the time. A member of the public or representative of the press will file a request under Wisconsin’s open records law, which applies to all state and local government entities. But instead of records, the requester gets a bill. “The city will require pre-payment in full before we begin fulfilling your request,” […]

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March 2021: Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council names ‘Opee’ winners

This year’s Openness in Government (Opee) Awards recognize Wisconsin’s largest newspaper for its dogged records-based coverage of the pandemic and its commitment to the cause of transparency in government, as well as a government agency that led the way in providing a maximum amount of information on COVID-19. Other winners include a municipal judge who […]

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Text of open records law

Open Records Law Listed below is the complete text of the Wisconsin Open Records Law, Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31-19.39, as of December 2020. Click here for a more detailed and annotated version of the statutes. Annotations are useful references to case law and opinions of the Attorney General that can help explain a passage. 19.31 […]

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Text of open meetings law

Open Meetings Law Listed below is the complete text of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law, Wis. Stat. §§ 19.81-19.98, as of December 2020. Click here for a more detailed and annotated version of the statutes. Annotations are useful references to case law and opinions of the Attorney General that can help explain a passage. 19.81 […]

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July: Raise the bar on police transparency

Recently, the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information issued a statement calling for greater transparency and accountability from law enforcement. They were joined by more than 50 groups, including the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, Wisconsin Newspaper Association, and the Wisconsin Transparency Project. “Trust is a key element […]

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