2017 in review: the top ten Kentucky open meetings and records stories of the past year

It’s easy to identify the most significant years in the history of the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts since I first professionally encountered them as an assistant attorney general in 1991. In 1992 and 1994, for example, the legislature dramatically overhauled the then nearly 20 year old acts, clarifying—among other things– the attorney general’s…

Kentucky House of Representatives v. Bluegrass Institute

Few things are more familiar to regular television viewers than the one hour courtroom drama. The program begins with the commission of a crime, continues with the investigation—often accompanied by strategic legal maneuvering—and reaches its climax in a dramatic courtroom scene where justice prevails in the conviction of the guilty and the exoneration of the…

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.…

Kentucky Department of Education seeking still more feedback on the state’s Common Core-based math and English language arts standards

In an interesting surprise, the Kentucky Department of Education has started yet another public comment period on revisions to the state’s education standards for math and English language arts (reading and writing). This new comment period is announced in NEWS RELEASE No. 17-173, which currently is only available to e-mail subscribers but shortly should appear…

Is there a big decay in education funding in Kentucky?

As we get ready to enter the 2018 legislative season, Kentuckians have been continually hearing about supposed large reductions in education funding. The latest hand-wringing example was an article titled “Schools face uphill financial picture in face of state, local cuts” published on December 10, 2017 in Ashland’s The Daily Independent. The article contains a…

Text-deleting app brings open government to the edge of the transparency abyss

This one should make open government advocates stand up and take notice. Several recent reports, including this one in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, suggest that Missouri’s governor – and his staff – have downloaded the app Confide to their personal cellphones. The app “deletes messages and prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking…