(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – Governor Matt Mead will not sign House Bill 223 today, his office reported in a late afternoon news release. The Governor said he wants the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees to finalize its search for a new President under the terms of the search the Board established at the beginning of the process. But, the Governor also said he is concerned about the precedent set by this bill and wanted to signal lawmakers he would not favor any further expansion of this exemption to the open records law.
“By not affixing my signature to this bill I wanted to express my concern about creating another exemption from disclosure under the Public Records Act,” Governor Mead said. “I did, however, want the search process at the University of Wyoming to play out under the conditions established for the applicants who put their names forward. I do not want to change the process midstream.”
The Governor has sent this bill, House Enrolled Act 1, to the Secretary of State, meaning it becomes law without signature.
“I asked the Trustees to find the very best person possible to be the next President of the University of Wyoming,” Governor Mead said. “After careful consideration, they identified a process to deliver on that request. Their intentions were for the best and reflected a belief they were within the bounds of the Wyoming Public Records Act.”
Governor Mead said Wyoming does have a strong Act. “Personnel matters are not public in most cases but I believe the Press Association raised important points about the need for transparency at UW and our community colleges. We should avoid further expansion of this law.”
–Governor Matt Mead’s Communications Office