"The cost to access public records could rise sharply under a bill the Indiana House approved Thursday.
House Bill 1523 would allow state and local governments to charge up to $20 an hour for public record searches. Those fees would apply when government officials spend more than two hours searching for a record requested by journalists or members of the public.
The House voted 62-25 in favor of the measure. It now goes to the Senate.
Lawmakers passed a similar measure in 2015, but then-Gov. Mike Pence vetoed it, saying "the cost of public records should never be a barrier to the public’s right to know."
Her colleague, Rep. Karen Engleman, said that as a former Harrison County auditor, record requests could consume a lot of staff time.
“Some people come in and ask for hours and hours of research to be done,” Engleman said. “We don’t get paid anything for doing that.”
Opponents argued that citizens shouldn’t be required to pay for records created and maintained with their own tax money. They also fear the measure could allow government agencies to charge large fees for information they want to hide.
“I just think as a matter of principle these records belong to the taxpayers. Government records are the people’s records. The employees in whatever level of government are paid for by the taxpayers. They are our employees. They work for us,” said Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington. “To have to come in and pay to get access to your records I just think is not a good principle, not a good policy.”
He cited a case in Florida where a county sheriff’s office charged a newspaper $339,000 for a request seeking emails containing gay slurs. Other counties quoted as little as $37 for the same request.
“I think you’re going to open it up to where people come in that are looking for stuff the government doesn’t want them to see, they’re going to get a really high fee,” Pierce said.
State law currently allows local governments and most state agencies to charge a fee for actual copying costs, but not for the time employees spend gathering records."
As the article notes a bill just like this one did pass in 2015. But in perhaps the only good move that Mike "Pampered" Pence made while he was Governor he vetoed this insane piece of legislation. Gary Welsh and Paul Ogden have both blogged on this their articles can be found here, here, here, and here. This bill is nothing more than politicians attempting to shield themselves from being held accountable by the voters that they are supposed to be the servants of! So that you know who is looking out for you and who is only seeking to protect themselves from we the people. We have provided below the names of the legislators so far that have supported and opposed this bill. If you want to do your best to make a difference contact each and every legislator by phone, email, mail, and fax and tell them you want this bill HB 1523 destroyed! Make them fear you the voter! As promised here are the traitors who have voted for this garbage already also listed are the patriots that voted against this bill:
Judases who have voted for HB 1523:
Authors of this POS:
Rep. Kathy Richardson-RINO, Noblesville. Email: email@example.com
Rep. Phillip GiaQunita-D, Fort Wayne. Click here to contact him.
Rep. Karen Engleman-RINO, Corydon. Click here to contact her.
Rep. Kevin Mahan-RINO, Hartford City. Click here to contact him.
Other Representatives who voted for HB1523: