Bluegrass Beacon: Keep making the General Assembly great again

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. Following original release of this column, Gov. Matt Bevin announced he will not call a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly.  WLEX weather anchor Bill Meck was…

Text-deleting app brings open government to the edge of the transparency abyss

This one should make open government advocates stand up and take notice. Several recent reports, including this one in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, suggest that Missouri’s governor – and his staff – have downloaded the app Confide to their personal cellphones. The app “deletes messages and prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking…

Bluegrass Beacon: Stay the course despite the scandal

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. This column has been updated to reflect new developments since it was originally released to newspapers. An initial statement by House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, that then-Speaker…

UofL’s sloppy open meetings practices expose it to the risk of successful legal challenge by its former basketball coach (and others)

The Courier Journal reports that Rick Pitino was “very humiliated, very hurt” by his treatment at a June 28 meeting of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. In particular, he was wounded by comments made by Board Vice Chair John Schnatter who, according to the article, participated by video teleconference in a closed session…

Bluegrass Beacon: Christmas coal, meet government grinches

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. ‘Tis the season for another edition of “Liberty Boosters and Busters.” Liberty Booster: The State Journal reporter Alfred Miller is being sued by Finance Cabinet bureaucrats after filing…

Rejecting or respecting the public’s right to know: the KRS pension report versus the House sexual harassment report

On December 1 House leaders released the investigative report into sexual harassment claims against Jeff Hoover and other legislators first brought to the public’s attention one month earlier. The report was prepared at the House’s request by Louisville law firm Middleton and Reutlinger. Owing to the refusal of some legislative staffers to cooperate, and the…

Bluegrass Beacon – Clear the air: Reveal retirees’ benefits

When addressing generous benefits received by Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) retirees in this column, a voluminous email response – mostly critical – is the norm. “I seriously have issues with using the word ‘lavish’ for teachers’ pensions,” a science teacher in Jefferson County wrote. “The word produces images of wealthy retirees sitting out on…