Legislative leaders made 16 thousand pages of documents related to redistricting available online Friday. Earlier this year, leaders in the Utah Democratic Party requested all documents related to 2012 redistricting process. It’s the largest legislative records request in state history and earned them a more than 15 thousand dollar bill the legislature refused to waive. Democrats then refused to pay the bill in full and filed a lawsuit in the third district court over the matter. On the website where the documents were released Friday, state legislators say they believe the request made from the Democratic party was more in self-interest than in the public interest and they deserve to pay for the hundreds of hours of work done compiling the records. They then say they chose to waive the remaining 9 thousand dollar fee in order to avoid spending even more tax payer dollars fighting a lawsuit. Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis says the records release isn’t a win for his party but for everyone in the state.
“Today’s victory is a victory for everyone in the state that believes that our legislative bodies ought to be responsive to the people of the state,” he says.
Phone calls made seeking comment from Republican leaders of the House and Senate were not returned.