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House Bill 56

House Bill 56

Phil Haunschild
January 31, 2017

Bill description: Want to know who won the lottery? This bill would prevent you from finding out.

Rating: -1

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability? 

Public records law already exempts a great deal of government information from public scrutiny. Some exemptions are legitimate, such as protecting businesses or individuals compelled to present information to the government. No one, however, is compelled to participate in the state lottery. Most people are quite aware the lottery advertises the names of its winners. (Although, those opposed to a state-sponsored lottery might view even the slightest chilling effect to be a good thing).

This proposed exemption goes beyond protecting the names of lottery winners wishing to remain anonymous. “Information and records that contain identifying information of a lottery prize winner, except upon the written authorization of the prize winner.” This includes the winner’s name, but also includes other internal lottery records that might include the winner’s name. On those grounds, the bill would justify audit reports, emails, letters, communications, receipts and additional expenditure data being kept from the public. (-1)


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