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Holcomb vetoes proposal for public records search fee

Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed House Enrolled Act 1523 in 2017. It would have allowed the state or local governments to charge a fee of up to $20 per hour for public records searches that took longer than two hours to complete.

INDIANAPOLIS — The General Assembly will not override Gov. Eric Holcomb's veto of a 2017 proposal that would have imposed a $20 per hour search fee for public records requests that take longer than two hours to complete.

The Indiana House voted 100-0 Tuesday to sustain the governor's veto. As a result, House Enrolled Act 1523, which never took effect, now never will.

State Rep. Kathy Richardson, R-Noblesville, the sponsor, said it was intended to crack down on abusive public records requests that sometimes can require days or weeks of staff work to fulfill.

Holcomb said in his veto message that while he understands public records searches can be time-consuming, charging for them is "contrary to my commitment to providing great government service at a great value for Hoosier taxpayers."

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House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, noted that former Gov. Mike Pence vetoed a similar measure in 2015.

"Sometimes the Legislature knows best, not always," Bosma said. "That's why we have three separate branches of government."

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Financial Affairs Reporter

Dan has reported on Indiana state government for The Times since 2009. He also covers casinos, campaigns and corruption.