Nebraska Lawmakers Begin Debate on Public Records Bill


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers have started a debate over what cities, counties and state agencies can charge for public records.

Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln presented his bill Friday to the full Legislature. Avery says his office has received complaints that governments were charging hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for copies of public records.

The measure makes clear that local governments can charge a fee for making copies, based on a reasonable calculation of what it costs for paper, toner and equipment.

But the bill would not allow governments to charge for the salaries of government employees during the first six hours it takes to fulfill the request. Beyond those six hours, local governments could impose a special labor charge.

Debate will continue next week.