The Open States team interacts with the websites and data portals of all 50 states (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico), so we see a lot different ways states choose to provide legislative data. Sometimes we find something really innovative a state is doing: One such state is Utah, which is prominently publishing conflict of interest information online for all state lawmakers.
Utah law requires legislators to disclose conflicts of interest because of a section of the state code called the [Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA)](http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title63G/Chapter2/63G-2.html). While most states require this information to be disclosed, Utah provides it in accessible avenues: on the [Senate site](http://senate.utah.gov/senators/conflict-disclosures.html) and on each House member’s page (for example, Democratic state Rep. Susan Duckworth). While many other states mandate this sort of disclosure, most also demand a written request to access it — another positive aspect of Utah’s system.
One reason this data is available is the hard work of journalists and activists working as the [Utah Media Coalition](http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57511650-78/grama-utah-government-bills.html.csp) involved in the Save GRAMA campaign resulting from a 2011 attempt by the legislature to change the law. (They continue to monitor the state of GRAMA and other public records laws as part of the [Utah’s Right](http://www.utahsright.com/) project.)
Because this information is so easy to access, Utahns can answer their own questions about their legislators. For example, they can compare Republican state Senator Curtis Bramble‘s [votes on high-profile medical marijuana bills](http://le.utah.gov/DynaBill/svotes.jsp?sessionid=2015GS&voteid=1306&house=S) to his financial stake in a company called Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions:
Sunlight applauds Utah’s work to make conflict of interest forms accessible to the public, and hope to see more states follow its lead.