Wisconsin has a long and proud tradition of openness in government. At nearly every level, from city councils to county boards and school boards, meetings are open to the public. Records are kept and those minutes are available for anyone to review without having to provide a reason. It helps us keep a check on those we elect to office. The laws allow you and I, except under very specific circumstances, to review an elected officials emails, or find out exactly what they said during a meeting. The laws also apply at the state level, but only to a degree. State agencies and their boards and committees have to document what occurs in a public meeting. But that is not true of members of the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate. Those who wrote the laws requiring transparency and accountability at all levels of government in Wisconsin exempted themselves. Our lawmakers are not required to provide us with documents. In fact, they are allowed to destroy them. Now there is legislation that would force our elected Senators and Representatives to also follow the same open records laws that every other government body in the state must follow. Our lawmakers should be held to at least the same standard as members of our city council or county board.