The “cost” of access: when agencies frustrate the public’s right to know by charging excessive fees

The News-Democrat & Leader reports that the attorney general last week ruled against the Logan County jailer in an open records dispute involving a magistrate’s request for jail commissary records. What was the issue that compelled a county magistrate to appeal the county jailer’s handling of the magistrate’s records request? The issue addressed by the…

“Preliminary” pension reports and perennial problems with public access

In one of the earliest legal challenges to Kentucky’s Open Records Law, the City of Louisville objected to disclosure of its internal affairs unit’s investigative files involving allegations of police misconduct. The city’s objections were based on the exceptions to the Open Records Law that permit nondisclosure of  “[p]reliminary drafts, notes, correspondence with private individuals,…

Opening closed doors: why we appealed the House’s illegal meeting

As details began to emerge one week ago that would rock the General Assembly, the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government celebrated a victory in its ongoing transparency initiative. We were also pointedly reminded of the importance of accountability at all levels of governmen Shortly after learning about the decision of the House of Representatives…

In the media: Coverage of Bluegrass Institute’s open-meetings win

Amye Bensenhaver, director of the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government, speaking tonight in E’town on Kentucky’s sunshine laws Check here for outstanding coverage by Lexington Herald-Leader reporter John Cheves regarding the Kentucky Attorney General Office’s decision to side with the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government’s claim that the House of Representatives cannot close its…

News Release: AG supports Center for Open Government’s claim that House’s secret meeting violated Open Meetings Act

For Immediate Release: November 6, 2017 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General in response to a complaint filed by the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government has ruled that the House of Representatives violated the Open Meetings Act when it met “with a quorum present” behind closed doors to discuss a…

Bluegrass Institute Statement: Proposed pension plan doesn’t go far enough

The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions for years has warned that failing to implement real reforms to Kentucky’s ailing retirement systems could threaten the commonwealth’s entire economy and crowd out funding for other important government services. This is now happening. Our commonwealth faces a $200 million budget deficit and Gov. Bevin has been forced…

Attorney general rules no foul in UofL open meetings challenge, but the public’s right to know is penalized

When the legislature enacted KRS 61.810(2) in 1992, it did so with good intentions. The Open Meetings Act had prohibited secret meetings of a quorum of the members of a public agency where public business was discussed or action taken since its enactment in 1974. But agencies quickly found ways to circumvent the Act by…

On the air: Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team director on ‘Kentucky Tonight’…tonight!

Join Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team director Dr. William Smith on KET’s Kentucky Tonight at 8 p.m. … tonight! Smith joins host Renee Shaw and a panel of guests discussing Frankfort’s latest proposal to fix Kentucky’s worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. Also appearing will be Stephanie Winkler, president of the Kentucky Education Association; Dave Adkisson, president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce;…