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Pinching Pennies by Pinching Open Government?

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The very astute John Myers, Sacramento bureau chief for KQED's California Report, dug up this unpleasant nugget about the budget now being put together in Sacramento: The state is looking to save a tiny amount of money ($362,000) it spends to reimburse local governments for the costs of providing the public with documents.

The reimbursement has been required because the public records law, as applied to local governments, is a state mandate. With the state looking to save every dollar possible, the Schwarzenegger administration wants to suspend that mandate.

Does that mean that the public won't be entitled to public writings and documents? No, because there's a constitutional right to those documents. But without the state mandate, local governments will be essentially working on the honor system.

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