Arizona Capitol

Bill to Kill Public-Records Access with High Fees Advances in State Legislature

A bill that would all but destroy the public's ability to receive public records critical of the government has been approved by a State House committee.

The bill, HB 2419, sponsored by Representative David Stevens, a Republican from Sierra Vista, would allow government agencies to charge $20 an hour for their "labor" in locating and producing any records for public inspection.

State Attorney General Tom Horne supports the bill, despite Horne's ruling in December that such a system would hinder the public's access to government records.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.