How much is too much to charge for public records requests? FOIA fees subject of debate in Waukegan – Chicago Tribune

Proposed changes to how the city of Waukegan charges for public records requests led to questions Monday evening about whether the city should even be charging for the records, and what would happen if someone couldn’t afford to pay.

The proposed ordinance would have brought the city in line with the maximum fees allowed under the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), City Attorney Bob Long said during a Monday committee meeting.

The law was amended in 2014 by the state legislature to allow municipalities to charge commercial requesters more, and create a new class of requester who can be charged fees for records provided electronically.

But because the ordinance hadn’t been updated since those changes, some of the fees laid out in the city’s ordinance are higher than what is allowed by law, so the city had just stopped charging fees, Long said.

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