Legislation was introduced last week that would give a CPRA requester the right to use his or her own equipment to photograph or otherwise copy or reproduce any record upon inspection without being charged any fees or costs, unless the means of copy or reproduction would damage the record.
AB 1819 by the Assembly Judiciary Committee is supported by CNPA and would reduce the cost to the public of accessing records from a state or local agency. Under existing law, an agency can charge a requester for “the direct cost of duplication” if the requester wants to obtain a copy of a public record.
An increasing number of agencies have used the cost-to-obtain copies provision in the CPRA to barricade public access to information. These agencies will charge requesters exorbitant amounts to provide copies of requested documents which many requesters can ill afford to pay. AB 1889 was introduced to eliminate the ability of an agency to use copy costs as an obstacle to accessing information.
The measure may be heard any time after April 6.