California's lawmakers never tire of letting members of the public know what a nuisance they are.
Last year, for instance, made it optional for local governments to comply with laws requiring them to post public meeting agendas. The ostensible reason was savings: Cities, counties, school districts and other agencies complained that writing up agendas and making them publicly available were expensive, that the law requiring such actions was a state mandate, and that the state must either pay governments to comply or suspend the requirement. The state didn't want to pay, so it lifted the mandate.
This year, as part of the recent budget deal, the state is going the same way on requests for public records. Yes, local governments would still have to provide people with the information they request but they would no longer have to respond within 10 days. They wouldn't have to help the applicants figure out exactly what documents they may be seeking. They wouldn't have to explain why requests were rejected. They could provide the information in as inconvenient a form as possible; for example, they could provide paper records even if they have information in more usable database formats.
The excuse again is cost. Being accountable to voters, serving the public, running government as a transparent and representative institution and not as a self-serving racket — it's all just so expensive.