Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bill would apply records law to officials' groups

A bill making any organization whose employees get state retirement benefits will be subject to the Kentucky Open Records Act has been prefiled by Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, and the Lexingon Herald-Leader reported Thursday it seems likely to pass when the legislature convenes next year.

The newspaper said the bill stems from its recent investigations into lavish spending at the Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties that led to the resignations of the leaders of both organizations. Although both organizations had surrendered records to the paper, they had claimed they were not subject to the records law. Each agency receives more than 25 percent of its budgets from public funds, the law's threshold for public inspection. Employees of both agencies receive state retirement benefits.

Simpson said at a recent public hearing that any group that received even "an iota" of public funding should release such records. The Herald-Leader said that leaders in both houses of the legislature had indicated they favored the bill. For the full story on Simpson's proposal, click here.

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