TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate has approved limits on what state and local government agencies can charge people seeking copies of public records.
The 33-7 vote Thursday sends the measure to the House.
The Kansas Open Records Act allows government agencies to set reasonable fees and charge for the time it takes staff to review and retrieve records. The law isn't more specific, except to say a copying fee of 25 cents per page is reasonable for state executive branch agencies.
The bill would require agencies to fulfill requests for free if they involve fewer than 25 pages or less than an hour. Otherwise, agencies could charge up to 25 cents a page for copies and up to $60 an hour for staff time if attorneys are involved.
A Kansas Senate committee wants to limit the fees charged by state and local agencies when they when fulfill requests to produce public records.
The Federal and State Affairs Committee approved a records-fee bill on a voice vote Thursday, sending the measure to the full Senate for debate.
The state's Open Records Act says agency fees must be reasonable, but agencies still can demand hundreds of dollars.
The bill says that if a request can be met in less than an hour of staff time or less than 25 pages, the documents are to be provided free of charge. The bill limits fees for copies and staff time after that.
The League of Kansas Municipalities opposes the measure, saying local governments should set fees based on their costs.