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Monday, June 13, 2011
Editorial: A king's ransom--PUBLIC INFORMATION IS NO LONGER FREE IN FLORIDA!
Gov. Rick Scott
The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 10, 2011 at 4:28 p.m.
In the Sunshine State, it seems, government has figured out how to block the public's right to know: Just price public records out of the market.
Barbara Peterson, of the Florida First Amendment Foundation, said her organization recently made some public records requests to Gov. Rick Scott's office. Under the governor's new “cost recovery policy,” after months of delay, Peterson was told that getting copies of one week's worth of emails would cost $780.
By contrast, a similar request for public records made to the Attorney General's and Agriculture Commissioner's offices was granted for free and within two weeks.
Although the law allows government agencies to recover costs associated with finding and copying records, demanding excessive costs can also be an effective way to block public access to records.