Fox 25 Boston interview: Hefty price tag for MBTA emails prompts call for records reform

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Earlier this winter, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott was on the defensive as she explained the MBTA shut down.

FOX25 asked for emails to and from Scott, and to and from another top MBTA employee on that day and the four days leading up to it.

The response? The MBTA said FOX25 could have the emails, for a price of over $15,000.

“It’s shocking that it would be $15,000 for some emails. You should be able to get those records electronically. It shouldn’t cost anything. Or a very, very modest amount,” said State Senator Jason Lewis.

Lewis is sponsoring a bill to reform the state’s public records law. Among other things, it would require state agencies to provide records electronically, charge fees that reflect actual costs, and force them to pay attorney’s fees when they unlawfully block access to public information.

“Information about our government needs to be readily accessible to journalists, watchdog groups and other citizens., so government can be held accountable,” Senator Lewis said.

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