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;…

Bluegrass Beacon: End mooching off taxpayers for sports stadiums

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon column is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. This recent column has been updated to reflect the misguided 23-2 vote by the Louisville Metro Council for this public-private nonsense. National Anthem protests and disrespect of…

Fixing pension problem requires all hands — including those of beneficiaries — on deck to insure ‘this never happens again’

Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team and board member Aaron Ammerman pointed out in his letter in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader: “Paying off the unfunded liability and honoring benefits that have already been earned by state workers will be an extraordinary effort, considering funding also needs to be found for essential state services such as education, health care and infrastructure.”…