Breaking news, from the Salt Lake Tribune:
Gov. Gary Herbert called Monday for the repeal of a controversial law created to restrict public access to government records, saying both the process and substance of the law “resulted in a loss of public confidence.”
Herbert said he would call a special session soon to enact the repeal, but called for all sides — the Legislature, news outlets and public — to engage in a “good faith” discussion of potential changes to Utah’s 20-year-old Government Records Access and Management Act, or GRAMA.
Meantime, House Republicans were huddled in a closed-door caucus on Monday to discuss their options for repeal. Several members broke publicly with leadership last week and called for the repeal of HB477, which was rushed through the Legislature in just a few days.
Members of a working group designed to discuss issues related to the records law are expected to be announced today and the first meeting could be held later this week.
Herbert said he considered vetoing HB477, because the bill “did not meet the standard of openness and public dialogue such legislation warranted,” but he said the bill passed by veto-proof margins and, if the Legislature had overridden his veto, the law would have taken immediate effect.
It is unclear if the Legislature would have overridden the veto. Seventeen House members changed their votes and opposed the bill when it received final passage, getting 42 votes, short of the 50 that would be needed to override the governor’s veto.