NC Gov. Charges for Public Records

Oh this will go over well. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s staff announced on Tuesday that they will be adding a “special service charge” for public records that take more than 30 minutes to process, to cut down on long lines at City Hall. The fees likely run afoul of North Carolina’s public-records law, which states outright that government documents are “the property of the people.” “The special service charge for administrative time in excess of 30 minutes has the potential for enormous impact on accessibility of public information and is inconsistent with the notion that these records belong to the people,” said Mike Tadych, a Raleigh lawyer who specializes in First Amendment cases. Also even worse: it’s pretty much the opposite of what McCrory ran on, when he pledged an era of open government.