The following was sent to the editor andappears in the July 14, 2015, Tomahawk Leader:
I made a mistake and I apologize.
On Thursday, July 2nd I voted for the budget wrap-up motion to complete the Joint Finance Committee’s work.
The wrap-up motion contained a number of technical amendments along with some very good provisions like adding $500,000 for Fabrication Laboratories to help K-12 students receive 21st century engineering skills and two additional employees for the Department of Justice to prosecute gun crimes.
I chose to vote for the wrap-up motion though it contained provisions relating to the open records law. In retrospect, I should have had the open records provisions removed from the wrap-up motion or voted no.
The first rule I adhere to in a situation like this is to admit a mistake when it happens and the second is to fix it. Therefore the following morning I issued a press release calling for the removal of the open records provisions from the wrap-up motion, and I called the Senate Majority Leader to urge him to remove the provision. Two days later the provisions were removed.
On Tuesday, the State Senate debated the budget bill. I co-authored Senate Amendment 1, which removes changes made to open records in the wrap-up motion. The amendment passed unanimously. The open records provisions are gone, and the budget bill is now being reviewed by the Governor.
Quite honestly I am embarrassed by the event. I insist on full transparency in my office and my staff takes great pride in having the utmost transparency in the office you have given me the privilege to hold. In addition, I try to fulfill as many media requests as possible, so you know where I stand on the issues of the day.
I appreciate those of you who have contacted me, including those of you who have given me an earful. For those of you who wish to contact me, see the legislative website for my e-mail address or call 608-266-2509.
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