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…

News Alert: Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government asks court to affirm public access to lawmakers’ meetings

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 23, 2018 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government is asking the Franklin Circuit Court to uphold an attorney general’s decision that a closed meeting of the state House of Representatives at which a taxpayer-funded study of Kentucky’s retirement systems was discussed violated the commonwealth’s Open Meetings…

Correction: U of L board observed open meetings requirements

The Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government erroneously commented in a blog on the circumstances regarding Sunday’s meeting of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees to consider a presidential candidate. The board deserves credit for observing open meetings requirements by giving proper notice of the meeting, admitting the public and convening and adjourning in…

Bluegrass Institute statement regarding House Bill 216

Bluegrass Institute president and CEO Jim Waters made the following comments at a recent meeting of the Kentucky House of Representatives’ State Government Committee opposing a proposed amendment in House Bill 216 which would exempt certain aspects of built-to-suit selection committees from requirements of Kentucky’s open meetings and records laws, including the identity of committee…

A state secret or a secret from the state: technology as an obstacle to the public’s right to know

Events have rapidly unfolded since we first commented on a serious threat to open government in the state of Missouri. The threat is a notable one for Kentuckians because it could play out in our own backyard. The Kansas City Star reported on December 7 that  Missouri’s governor – and his staff – had downloaded the app Confide…

News release: State House rejects attorney general’s ruling it violated open-meetings law, files suit against Bluegrass Institute

For Immediate Release: December 26, 2017 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The Kentucky House of Representatives has opted to waste more taxpayer money by filing a lawsuit against the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank, rather than acknowledge it violated the Commonwealth’s Open Meetings Act when it gathered behind closed doors last summer to discuss pension reform.…

Bluegrass Beacon: Stay the course despite the scandal

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. This column has been updated to reflect new developments since it was originally released to newspapers. An initial statement by House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, that then-Speaker…

UofL’s sloppy open meetings practices expose it to the risk of successful legal challenge by its former basketball coach (and others)

The Courier Journal reports that Rick Pitino was “very humiliated, very hurt” by his treatment at a June 28 meeting of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. In particular, he was wounded by comments made by Board Vice Chair John Schnatter who, according to the article, participated by video teleconference in a closed session…

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…