The Senate has narrowly approved legislation allowing public officials to impose a labor charge on requests for copies of public records that involve 100 pages or more.
The bill was approved on a 19-15 vote Monday and sent to the House for final action.
Supporters maintained it was only an attempt to keep citizens and the media from what amount to fishing expeditions for information that take substantial amount of taxpayer-financed time to accommodate.
But critics claimed imposing a charge for public records that taxpayers have already paid for runs counter to the principles of democracy.
“Open and good government in a democracy isn’t efficient, it isn’t cheap,” Democrat Clint Stennett of Ketchum said. “But it is something we must do.” , DataTimes
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