Is the General Assembly violating open meetings laws?

We’re alarmed by a recent tweet by the Kentucky Senate Republicans where they touted the Senate “moving forward with its duties” and continuing to meet despite postponing the legislative session over the last few days. We reached out to Amye Bensenhaver, former Assistant Attorney General and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition, to see…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Secret Ballots: The Ultimate Affront to Open Government

There are few actions of public agency officials that more directly fly in the face of open government  than the use of the secret ballot. Surely, forty three years after the passage of the open meetings law agency officials no longer indulge the absurd belief that they are permitted to employ secret ballots in conducting…