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MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the Wisconsin Department of Justice hosted a 2010 Open Meetings and Public Records Seminar via videoconferencing today. Video conference sites included Green Bay, Racine, Rice Lake and La Crosse. The seminar began at 1:00 p.m. and is schedule to conclude at 4:00 p.m. Ninety-six people attended today's training session.
In his remarks, Van Hollen emphasized the importance of these seminars in promoting a better understanding of the open meetings and public records laws; laws that Van Hollen described as “an essential component of effective citizen oversight of the workings of our democratic government.”
“I believe very strongly in my office's role to help government officials and the public better understand their responsibilities and rights under the law,” said Van Hollen. “We offer seminars such as these free of charge because we want to maximize compliance. I truly believe that preventing mistakes is preferable to prosecuting mistakes.”
The free seminars are only a part of the Wisconsin Department of Justice's campaign to promote compliance with public records and open meetings laws. In addition to the seminars, the Department of Justice recently published updated versions of the Open Meetings Compliance Guide and the Public Records Compliance Outline.
In addition, the Department of Justice has created a new online public records resource guide, which is available at
Van Hollen was followed by Assistant Attorneys General Tom Bellavia and Mary Burke. AAG Bellavia specializes in open meetings law, and AAG Burke specializes in public records law.
The Open Meetings Compliance Guide and Public Records Compliance Outline are available at: