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February 11, 2003

House Approves Limit On Fees For Copying Documents

The Associated Press
SANTA FE   —   A proposal to limit the fees for copying public records was approved unanimously by the House on Tuesday.
    The measure by Rep. Dona Irwin, D-Deming, would restrict fees to no more than the actual costs of copying documents and would require electronic data to be provided "by the means least expensive to the public."
    Currently, the law imposes a cap of $1 a page. However, the legislation would eliminate that.
    Robert Johnson, executive director of New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, said in an interview that some governmental agencies have attempted to charge the $1 maximum per-page fee.
    The proposed change in law, he said, should lower copying fees, potentially to a few cents a page. Actual costs include paper, toner and some labor for a government worker to copy a document, he said.