Bluegrass Institute applauds ‘heroes of transparency’

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The Bluegrass Institute released the bipartisan list of candidates for Kentucky House and Senate seats in the 2018 General Election who publicly and courageously expressed support prior to Election Day for making the commonwealth’s public pension benefits subject to the Open Records Act by signing the organization’s Pension Transparency Pledge. “Taxpayers have…

News Release: Bluegrass Institute prevails in open-meetings case involving Kentucky House of Representatives

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 5, 2018 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — A recent legal victory for the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government affirms that a closed-door meeting of the Kentucky House of Representatives last year to discuss public-pension reform violated the Open Meetings Act. House leaders attempted to avoid transparency requirements by characterizing the closed-door…

Bensenhaver addresses AOC audit, fallout: Judiciary should ‘heed its own words’

The first-ever audit of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) by State Auditor Mike Harmon was the subject of today’s meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and the Judiciary in Frankfort. Harmon’s audit raises issues identified in “Shining the Light On Kentucky’s Sunshine Laws: A Proposal for Legislative Revision,” a 2017 report by the…

Bluegrass Beacon: Tax-raising politicians should choose comfort over transparency

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute’s website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. What led to Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate’s ruling supporting the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government’s claim that the Kentucky House of Representatives held an illegal closed-door…

Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government demands transparency in JCPS’ Head Start abuse scandal

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 1, 2018 (LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government is appalled at recent accounts of more than 40 abuse cases in the Jefferson County Public Schools’ troubled Head Start program during the past 18 months and is calling on Superintendent Marty Pollio and the JCPS Board of Education…

Kentucky Board of Education violated open meetings law

The state attorney general’s office ruled in response to a complaint filed by Louisville’s WDRB-TV News that the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) violated the Open Meetings Act when it met behind closed doors to discuss amending former Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt’s contract. The Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government also noted that the April…

News Release: Institute’s Center for Open Government prevails in circuit court dispute regarding House’s secret pension meeting

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2018 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — A Franklin Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government’s claim that the Kentucky House of Representatives illegally conducted a closed meeting to discuss public pension reform. Judge Thomas D. Wingate rejected the House’s claim that a closed meeting…

Is there a seat at the table for Bluegrass Institute’s open-records expert?

This op-ed by Amye Bensenhaver, director of the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government, recently appeared in the Courier-Journal and Frankfort State Journal and summarizes the events that followed the introduction of a committee amendment to HB 302 in the last two minutes of the Senate State and Local Government Committee’s March 21 meeting. The…

Institute joins groups across spectrum opposing proposal to place public business on private devices outside open records reach

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 26, 2018 Groups and media organizations across the political spectrum were alarmed when, as the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government reported,  House Bill 302 was changed to reclassify government business done on private devices and accounts as outside the reach of the open records law. As a result, the…

Bluegrass Beacon: Bill clouds citizens’ access

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. The incredible demolition of the Capital Plaza Tower, Frankfort’s tallest building brought down after falling into disrepair, offers a stark visual reminder not only of what’s going to…