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Commentary: Herschler Gallery Still Closed to Public in Proposed Policy

April 18, 2012

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The advocates for faith, family and freedom, WyWatch, have alerted the public that the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Tony Young, has informed them that there will only be 15 minutes of public testimony at the SBC (State Building Commission) meeting today, April 18, 2012, at 8:00 AM. Since there will be such a limited time to discuss this new policy from the floor, WyWatch wanted to inform the public and the legislators who are considering attending, as soon as possible.

WyWatch has done a preliminary scan of the proposed SBC policy changes and thought it prudent to show  the public the area of concern with the proposed policy. There are numerous areas of the proposed policy that are believed too restrictive in nature.

For instance, some of the concerns were already present with the current policy and many had hoped the new proposed policy would correct them, however the results are disappointing. The area known as the Herschler Gallery (the tunnel between the Capitol Building and the Herschler Building) is still OFF LIMITS to the public for events or displays. But it appears to not restrict Government agencies from doing so. In other words, the government may have access to lobby the legislators on specific issues or legislation but the people of Wyoming are shut out from doing so.

The proposed new policy now allows for groups of 10 people or less to spontaneously gather (as in a small prayer group) but is restricted to a 15 minute time period. Our organization sees no need for a time limit that would be difficult to enforce.

There are other highlighted sections of the policy that are of public concerning, where the 1st Amendment is concerned,  from a preliminary review of the policy. If you have concerns about any section, please write to the governor’s deputy chief of staff at tony.young@wyo.gov and share your comments. Or attend the meeting this morning at 8:00 am, in the basement of the Herschler Building, room B-63. You may also contact WyWatch for more information at http://www.wywatch.org/

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