Legislature’s plans for new HR office raises concerns

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Legislature is moving to formally create a new human resources department that would handle complaints about lawmakers, including the resolution of any investigation, and keep all information confidential.

A bill creating the Legislative Human Resources Office was introduced and passed out of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Wednesday.

The bill says the office “shall at all times observe the confidential nature of records, requests, advice, complaints, reviews, investigations, disciplinary actions, and other information in its possession relating to human resources matters.”

Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, says he is concerned that wording gives the office “the ability, if not the mandate, to withhold records.”