A vote by Wisconsin’s budget committee to dismantle the state’s open records laws has caused an uproar across the Badger State.

Under these measures, lawmakers would be able to draft bills in secret and hide their communications from the public. The changes would also apply to local government officials, including school board members.

No other state in the country would have similar statutes, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan agency that helps legislators draft laws.

The Joint Finance Committee passed it 12-4 on a party line vote. Republicans refused to say who initiated the measures and the reasoning for it.

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