Opponents say open records bill would hurt access

Supports cite high cost of redactions
A generic photo of the Capitol building

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 said 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, said it will save taxpayers from paying high redaction costs.