Government by secret committee: a clear abuse of the public’s right to know

In 2015 the Bluegrass Institute appealed the Kentucky Board of Education’s denial of an open meetings complaint to the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General. There was nothing unusual in that act. The Kentucky Attorney General reviews multiple open meetings appeals each year. What was unusual was the fact that an esteemed public body charged…

Bluegrass Beacon – Pension deliberations: Nothing but uncomfortable

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. Legislators frequently grumble about Kentuckians’ lack of interest in, attention to and knowledge of complicated issues like the public-pension system. Some observation about how “people’s eyes glaze…

AG rejects Finance argument that secrecy ensures integrity in State Journal open meetings appeal (with an assist from the Bluegrass Institute)

The State Journal  prevailed in an open meetings appeal to the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General in a decision issued on October 6, 2017 — 17-OMD-207 — and the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government played a role in its victory. Assistant Attorney General Matt James ruled that the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s refusal to…

Presidential searches and police internal investigations: what public agencies must do, may do and should do to promote public trust

Kentucky’s open records and open meetings laws are, fundamentally, public access laws. They exist to  ensure any person’s right to inspect and copy public records and to attend public meetings — regardless of the person’s identity or purpose — and to create a statutory mechanism for enforcing those rights. When the laws were enacted in…

Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team presentation in E’town tonight

Dr. William Smith, a Madisonville dermatologist who served on Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension-transition team, leads the Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team. Dr. Smith will present “Sound Solutions for Kentucky’s Pension Crisis” at tonight’s meeting of the Central Kentucky Tea Party.   This presentation is based on Dr. Smith’s recent appearance before the state’s Public Pension…

Pension wars arrive, but peace is possible

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. A serious assessment offered by an independent consulting group hired to audit Kentucky’s public-retirement funds represents an important step in addressing the commonwealth’s pension crisis. If you…

Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team presentation tonight in Northern Kentucky

Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team leader Dr. William Smith will present “Sound Solutions for Kentucky’s Pension Crisis” at tonight’s meeting of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party at 7 pm at the Holiday Inn at 7905 Freedom Way in Florence. While much of the discussion about pension policy has centered on legislative funding and investment returns, the Bluegrass Institute…

Rick Pitino, Bobby Knight and the meetings that sealed their fates

What, besides the obvious, do University of Louisville Coach Rick Pitino and former Indiana University Coach Bobby Knight have in common? Both were the subjects of secret university trustees’ meetings concerning their continued employment at their respective universities. And in the case of each coach, the universities they served were — or are being —…