Monday, May 11, 2015

Schmidt commends passage of open-government investigations bill

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today commended the Kansas Legislature for passage of a bill he proposed earlier this year to improve the state’s capacity to investigate alleged violations of the Kansas Open Records Act and Kansas Open Meetings Act.

“The Legislature reaffirmed its commitment to open government by giving our office the legal tools to more efficiently and effectively investigate and resolve potential violations of the state’s sunshine laws,” Schmidt said. “This bill also will give our office new authority to provide training to public officials and employees on the importance and details of these laws to help avoid future violations.”

The bill allows the attorney general to resolve violations of KOMA or KORA through either a consent order or an administrative finding. In addition, the bill adds protections to allow the attorney general or county or district attorneys to review records that are subject to an open records dispute.

The bill was enacted as part of the conference committee report on House Bill 2256. The bill passed the Senate yesterday 38-0 and passed the House today 95-15. It will now be presented to Gov. Sam Brownback for his consideration.