Paying Twice for Information

California is such an interesting state to watch. Not only is it the state that shows us what happens when you rely on the state for everything, it is currently giving us a glimpse of the aftermath of state reliance. One of the more laughable proposals being put forth by California’s state is double charging denizens for access to public information:

A proposal under consideration in California would significantly limit access to public information by levying a $10 fee any time anyone—including members of the public and the media—wants to look at a court case record in person. While EFF is certainly sympathetic to the budgetary woes facing all levels of government in California, this measure would trade transparency, citizen engagement and the power of a free press for a short-sighted fiscal stop-gap. On the whole, such a fee would do little to fix institutional spending problems while inflicting massive damage to the public trust.

Not only do you pay for the creation of this information through taxes, state issued fines, and other regulatory fees but now you can get pay to read it! On top of soaking California denizens for more money this proposal, from a more cynical point of view, may also discourage individuals from investigating the goings-on of the state they suffer under. If you want to know what dirty little deeds the political bureau of California is up to you’ll have to pay for the privilege.