Bluegrass Institute calls for removal of armed guard, more transparency in state budget negotiations
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Contact: Jim Waters 270-782-2140
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – The Bluegrass Institute called on the state’s political leaders today to increase access to the room where critical budget negotiations are being held today.
The hallway leading to Room 131 of the Capitol Annex, where the state budget conference committee is meeting today, has been roped off with an armed guard preventing reporters from entering the room.
“Armed guards, roped-off rooms and closed blinds do not communicate transparency and openness,” said Logan Morford, vice president of transparency for the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. “If taxpayer funds are being respected and spent responsibly, then why not get rid of the ropes, blinds and guards?”
While Kentucky has taken many steps forward regarding transparency in recent years, now is not the time to go backwards, Morford said.
Reporters have been forced to watch the proceedings, which are broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television, outside the room in which budget negotiations are being held.
“One public-TV camera doth not transparency make,” said Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters. “Would politicians rushing to finish their budget work so they can get to New Orleans and watch a Final Four basketball game be content with staying home and watching the game on TV?”
The institute will provide developments on this transparency issue on Twitter (@BIPPS) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/