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Meeting on proposal to prosecute journalists back on

Updated: 10:08 p.m. on November 11, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Officials in southwestern Wisconsin are going ahead with a meeting on a resolution that calls for prosecuting journalists who edit an upcoming news release on a water quality study.

The Lafayette County Land Conservation Committee was set to vote on the resolution Tuesday. But county attorney Nathan Russell said Monday morning that the vote wouldn't happen and the resolution won't be considered "in the near future."

The resolution remained on the committee's Tuesday agenda as of Monday evening. Russell told The Associated Press that he had just learned the meeting was still on and apologized for what he called "the confusion."

The resolution centers on the upcoming release of findings from a water quality study. It warns that journalists who alter or edit the county news release's summarizing the findings would be prosecuted.

Legal experts say the resolution is clearly unconstitutional.
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Posted: 7:20 p.m. on November 11, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Officials in southwestern Wisconsin have dropped a resolution that appeared to threaten journalists who planned to report on upcoming water research without repeating a news release verbatim.

The Lafayette County Land Conservation Committee was set to vote on the resolution Tuesday. But county attorney Nathan Russell said Monday that the vote won't happen and that the resolution won't be considered "in the near future."

The resolution centers on the upcoming release of findings from a water quality study. It stipulates the county chairmen, county conservationists and the Lafayette County conservation committee chairman would craft a news release on the findings. Journalists who alter or edit the release's summary of findings would be prosecuted.

Legal experts say the resolution is clearly unconstitutional.

Russell says the counties can protect the study's "integrity" without a resolution.

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