Attorney General Challenges Confidentiality of Draft Legislation

According the JS Online, “Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager’s assertion that two legislators have violated the state’s public records law could upend the way legislators and lobbyists make law.”

According to the article:

Lautenschlager, a Democrat, filed a civil complaint last week against Zien and Rep. Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) after they declined to give her office drafts of a bill that would allow citizens to carry concealed guns. They maintain the drafts can be kept confidential until they formally introduce the bill, but she says the two must make the drafts public because they have already shared an early version of the bill with gun advocates who helped write the legislation.

If Lautenschlager wins, lawmakers may start withholding bill drafts from lobbyists – a move that would create far more work for legislators because lobbyists commonly help write bills.

A reminder: The Wisconsin Legislative Drafting Records from the last two session are available electronically on the UW Law Library Web site. They contain written materials, letters, and memoranda given to or created by the legislative drafting attorney in the process of drafting a bill, resolution, or subsequent amendments. They may provide some insight into the meaning of statutory language.