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…

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.…