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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Iowa Independent: Culver, newspaper clash over open records

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Gov. Chet Culver is once again sparring with the media over open
records laws. The governor has told the Des Moines Register it will be
charged $630 for a state lawyer to determine whether e-mails relating
to the Atalissa scandal can legally be kept confidential. ... The policy
started at the end of the 2008 legislative session. Culver announced
that state agencies can charge residents for the time it takes
government attorneys to review public documents requested under the
state’s open-records laws. That "reasonable" fee is estimated at $25
to $35 an hour. The Iowa Attorney General's Office has reviewed
Culver's policy and said it is legal. However, open-record advocates
have said they worry the new policy will institute a costly barrier to
openness throughout state government.

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