Editorial: A fair fee for Colorado open records searches

From The Denver Post: The spirit of open government lies in the Colorado Open Records Act — also called the sunshine law for its rule that government work should be out in the open.

The law says most public records shall be available to the public. But local governments subvert the intent of the open records law when they charge excessive fees to produce the records.

Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, is sponsoring legislation that would standardize the amount governments could charge for public access to open records.

House Bill 1193 would prohibit charging an hourly fee that exceeds three times the state minimum wage, or $24 with today’s $8 minimum wage.

Salazar said his bill is not popular but necessary. It’s the second time he has run it after killing it in 2013 because of a lack of support.

We support his current bill that stipulates a reasonable charge, as opposed to charges that currently vary widely around Colorado.

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