Friday, April 21, 2017

HEA1523 - Kathy Richarson authors Bill to hide Government Abuse

HEA 1523

Author - Kathy Richardson

Search fee for public records requests. Allows a state or local government agency (agency), with certain exceptions, to charge a maximum hourly fee for any records search that exceeds two hours. Prohibits, with certain exceptions, an agency from charging a fee for providing a public record by electronic mail. Provides that if a public record is in an electronic format, an agency (excluding the office of the county recorder) shall provide an electronic copy or a paper copy, at the option of the person making the request for a public record. They can charge $20 an hour if the time to search exceeds two hours.

OK - here is my thoughts - all searches will last more than two hours form now on. 

     - When government wants to hide something that came up the search will last a lot of extra hours.

     - Local governments will exploit this law to make sure that they can stop some one from doing a search. 

    -Government should be open and I have run into too many roadblocks trying to find out what they are hiding. This is just another reason to prevent the public from knowing what is going. All of a sudden all searches will be hours and hours long.

     _ The author is Kathy Richardson, in addition to being a State Representative for District 29, she is the Elections Administrator for Hamilton County so in other words she runs her own election. Maybe she is in fear that open government will find something about how she runs for office and how she holds these two jobs. This is being done to stop people from finding out what is going on. Without a fee the people tasked to look something up will do it fast, with a few they will drag it out to make more money for their agency.

Some comments from others:
As an Indiana tax payer, I would like to see the financial proof that this is necessary.  Rita McBride.

Public records should remain public! Beverly Bush

The records belong to the public and it is unreasonable to impose a viewing charge.  Claudia Szymaszek

Why is it OK to charge a fee for a service I am already paying to much for through my taxes. HMMM I wonder where the extra money would go. Or is it to deter finding information. I wonder why we don't trust our officials. Robert Davis

Public records should NOT cost taxpayers because they already own them! Steve Landis

House Bill 1523 is an obstruction and an affront to the peoples' right to inspect public records of the government's goings on. The supporters of this bill are not being honest about the intentions of this bill which clearly are to keep information of governmental wrongdoing and unethical conduct from the public. Brian Vukadinovich

Keep our government open for to see. Not just those with money.  Dave Simcox

Adding an arbitrary fee to the collection of public records will dramatically limit the public's ability to access records we have already paid for through our taxes. Government and what it does is for the people. Carrie Napoleon

We need more government transparency, not less. Rick Taylor

I fear that agencies will use the search fee as an opportunity to make records inaccessible to the public. The search itself is not transparent to the requester, who will have to rely on the government to be honest about its search efforts. Defining "search" can be problematic. Does it include compiling records, or truly locating them? There is a difference. As a former public access counselor, I can attest to the fact that the fees agencies charge for records is often a barrier to obtaining information about the government. Karen Davis

Because citizens need affordable access to government business to keep our government accountable. Mike Conway

This is obviously designed to discourage access to public records. Under NO circumstances should this ever be signed into law! Gary Atkins

Open transparent government is a prerequisite for Democracy. This under-handed restriction on access to public records is appalling. Robert Pedersen

Governmental transparency is vital to our democracy. Cindy Guy

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