New bill would block public records requests for out-of-state journalists

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A bill heading to the governor’s desk would prohibit out-of-state journalists from requesting public records from the governor’s office. Gonzales Senator Ed Price questioned River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot who said  reporters outside of Louisiana can work with in-state media to make the request.

“It seems a little odd that journalists representing news people out of state can’t seek these public records because they are not a resident of the State of Louisiana,” Price stated.

“I don’t think they would have any problem colluding with a local journalist or news outlet to get that information,” Talbot responded.

Talbot says other states also have a similar law and he carried this bill for the governor on the Senate floor.

“They’ve told me they get inundated with unbelievable amounts of public records requests coming from out of state. I think with today’s media climate, they see it as a problem they want to address,” Talbot said.

During discussion on the Senate floor, it was pointed out that the governor’s office is receiving an additional one million dollars to hire more lawyers to work on public records requests. Talbot says the office is getting inundated with public records requests and many ask for an enormous amount of detail.

“A lot of these aren’t just, ‘I want to see this one thing.’ They might say, ‘I want to see every email on every thing for the last sixteen years,’ or whatever. It’s a lot, and I think at some point you’ve just got to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘Look, we’re just going to do it for Louisiana citizens,’” Talbot said.

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