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Friday, April 28, 2017

Indiana Gov. Vetoes "Search Fee" for Public Records Requests

We write a lot about public records laws on this blog because the Illinois Freedom of Information Act affects so many aspects of government business and communications. Although not applicable to Illinois, it is interesting to see what our "neighbors" are doing in connection with their own state public records laws. 

Recently, the Indiana state legislature passed a bill that would allow units of local government to charge the public an hourly fee to search for records in response to a public records request. The fee can be no more than (1) the hourly rate of the person doing the search or (2) $20.00. The first two hours of search time must be provided at no charge, and then an hourly fee could be applied to any search in excess of two hours. The bill also required governments to provide electronic versions of documents, if requested.  Indiana House Bill 1523.

The bill was approved 63-27 in the Indiana House and 44-3 in the Indiana Senate. On Monday this week, Indiana Governor Holcomb vetoed the bill. It has been reported that although the Governor supported the provisions of the bill that dealt with the provision of electronic records, he opposed the search fee. 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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