Published: Jul 01, 2011 8:21 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 01, 2011 7:21 PM EDT

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott told newspaper editors that public records requests have skyrocketed since he's taken office and that fees he's charging to provide documents are needed so taxpayer money isn't wasted.

St. Petersburg Times Editor Paul Tash asked Scott if the fees he's charging are worth the chilling effect of keeping people from scrutinizing state government.

Scott's predecessor, former Gov. Charlie Crist, had a policy of not charging the media for public records. State law allows charges for the cost of copying records and for staff time to review records to make sure confidential information isn't contained in them.

Scott said that if the state incurs a cost, it is appropriate to pass it on to the media.

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