After similar legislation died in the state House of Representatives last year, a state senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow public officials to declare a request for public records as “unduly burdensome or harassing” and therefore deny it.
Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer reports in the Arizona Capitol Times that “(t)he proposal by Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, leaves in place existing requirements for records to be open to public inspection. And it spells out that those who are denied access can sue and recover their legal fees.”
Dan Barr of Perkins Coie P.A., counsel to the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona Inc., is quoted in the story as saying his reading of current law gives government officials the option of seeking a court order in such “extreme instances,” Fischer reported.
The bill, SB1019, does not define what constitutes “unduly burdensome or harassing” requests.