(Victor Joecks, Las Vegas Review-Journal) – Transparency has many supporters in the legislative building, yet few champions. It’s easy to tell voters that you support the public’s right to know. It’s harder to take on local-government lobbyists who will testify in opposition and work behind the scenes to knife your bill to death.
That’s why Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, deserves praise for working with the ACLU in trying to clarify and update Nevada’s public records law in SB170. It’s especially appropriate that Wednesday’s hearing on SB170 occurred during Sunshine Week, a national week to celebrate open government.
SB170 would clarify deadlines for providing open records and, in an ACLU-proposed amendment, would waive fees for records for some requesters, including news organizations like the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Some government agencies will charge prohibitively high fees when a member of the public requests information they’d rather not make public.
Unsurprisingly, some local governments testified in opposition, with many citing the cost of providing records.