Pulling public documents out of Idaho’s state and local governments could get expensive under legislation being pushed by Attorney General Alan Lance.
Deputy Attorney General William von Tagen is pressing the Senate State Affairs Committee to approve authority for government agencies to charge for the labor it takes to comply with large public document requests.
Idaho’s daily newspapers opposed the bill at Wednesday’s hearing, saying it would set up a financial barrier to government information.
But von Tagen said many attorneys and news reporters abuse the system by taking a scatter-gun approach to collecting public documents rather than narrowing their search.
Opponents of the bill argued the public has already paid for documents through their taxes and should not be forced to pay again.
Putting a cost on public documents would affect only those least able to pay, said Roy Eiguren, representing Idaho’s Allied Dailies newspaper group.
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