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      Nebraska Lawmakers Advance Public Records Bill

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      LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A bill that would regulate when Nebraska cities and counties can start charging for public records requests has won first-round approval in the Legislature.

      Lawmakers advanced the measure on Monday, 35-1. The vote followed a compromise on when governments can start charging for the staff time required to fulfill a request.

      The measure by Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln would have prohibited counties from charging for the first six hours needed to comply with a request. Avery had initially proposed a 10-hour minimum, but reduced the time to address the concerns of cities and counties with small staffs.

      Lawmakers advanced the bill after Avery agreed to reduce the time minimum again, this time to four hours, before the bill comes up for a second vote.

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