Opponents say open records bill would hurt access

Published On: Feb 27 2013 08:40:53 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 27 2013 01:51:56 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

Opponents of a Republican-backed proposal that could make it more expensive to obtain records from government entities say the measure would hinder public access and make it easier to hide information.

The bill heard Wednesday by a state Assembly committee would allow the holders of public records to charge those requesting the documents for time spent deleting confidential information.

Wisconsin Newspapers Association attorney Bob Dreps says allowing those charges would make it easier for holders of public information to discourage requests by charging thousands of dollars for deletions.

Other opponents include River Valley Newspaper Group editor Chris Hardie and Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council president Bill Lueders.

Supporters of the bill, including the Milwaukee Police Department, say it will save taxpayers from paying high redaction costs.