A ruling last year by the Wisconsin Supreme Court involving the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel became the focus of attention Feb. 27, when a state Assembly committee held a public hearing on a bill, AB 26, that would drastically increase the cost of obtaining public records.
The bill, if approved, would let custodians of public records charge a fee for redacting sensitive information. It was introduced in reaction to the court's ruling that such fees are not allowed under current law.
I spoke at the hearing against the bill, as did representatives of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. Among those speaking in favor were representatives of the Wisconsin Counties Association, League of Wisconsin Municipalities, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The proponents argued that they incurred huge costs reviewing and redacting records, especially for voluminous requests.
Also, please see an opinion from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Mike Juley.