- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Senate has approved a bill allowing government agencies to charge $20 per hour for public records requests that take more than two hours to complete.

The measure by Republican Rep. Kathy Richardson of Noblesville passed the Senate on a 44-3 vote Wednesday.

Under the proposal, the first two hours would not be billed. After that, hours spent working to complete the request would come with a bill that’s the lesser of $20 per hour or the hourly wage of the employee completing the search.

The bill’s author says public records requests can take an excessive amount of government workers’ time.

Opponents disagree with charging for requests under open government laws. They point out that government employees are paid by taxpayers.

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