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Wisconsin's open government laws promote democracy by ensuring that all state, regional and local governments conduct their business with transparency. Wisconsin citizens have a right to know how their government is spending their tax dollars and exercising the powers granted by the people. This page is a resource for all Wisconsinites to understand and exercise their right to access their government.
Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law, enacted in 1976, attempts to promote openness in government and to provide Wisconsin citizens with an opportunity to observe and educate themselves about their government's operations.
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Wisconsin's Public Records Law took much of its present form in 1981 and is in place to provide the public with reasonable access to public records at reasonable costs.
These samples are provided for illustrative purposes only. Always review applicable legal requirements and consider the unique factual circumstances presented by a specific situation.
Send your request in letter form to the attention of Kevin C. Potter, Office of the Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice, 17 W. Main St., P.O. Box 7857, Madison, WI 53707-7857. No special form is needed to submit your request. The response time will vary depending on the type of documents you seek, whether it is related to a criminal activity and whether or not the case is closed. We respond to all requests as soon as practicable and without delay. Information on charges to obtain records can be found on the: DOJ Public Records Notice.[PDF]