Lafayette County committee passes amended rule on SWIGG study information release | WisCommunity

Lafayette County committee passes amended rule on SWIGG study information release

November 12, 2019 - 10:37am

Update - I just spoke to board member Kriss Marion. The meeting has ended, and the Land Conservation committee passed the rule with several amendments. The board removed the controls over the release of information by the press and prosecution for publicaiton but kept the controls over the distribution of information to the county officials. They also removed the restrictions on officials from other counties. The revised amendment passed 5-2. A video of the meeting is embedded above. According to board member Marion the resolution had not been read by corporation counsel before the meeting this morning. This is confirmed from the livestream of the meeting. The committee chair claims tht the resolution was written by a lawyer, but that lawyer remains unnamed. A discussion ensued about whether the resolution would be legally reviewed before tonight's full board meeting, but the resolution is being forwarded to the full county board for consideration tonight.

Another quick update - attached is the response to this from Midwest Environmental Advocates

Last week Lafayette County's Land Conservation Board set an emergency meeting for today to consider a new rule that would limit the release of information from the SWIGG groundwater study, keeping the information from most county officials until the public release of data. More concerning, it required journalists to only print the press release from the county and did not allow them to edit or interpret the release. This was clearly an unconstitutional rule. Friday night the county's attorney Nathan Russell told some reporters that the rule was going to be dropped and that this morning's meeting was canceled. Late yesterday Russell emailed many reporters and said that there was a misunderstanding and that the 8:30 meeting this morning would take place and that the rule was still going to be considered by the board. At this time it is still unclear who wrote this proposal. 

We do not have anyone at the meeting this morning due to the distance involved. This morning WPR reported that there were approximately 50 people at the meeting and that public comments were being taken. This article will be updated later in the day after interviewing a board member.

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Steve Hanson
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