Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Schmidt’s office, Sunshine Coalition to offer training on open government laws

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- The Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the Sunshine Coalition for Open Government will offer a free training session on Kansas open records and open meetings laws in Topeka next month, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

The training session will be Tuesday, September 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Auditorium, 120 S.W. 10th Ave. Those wishing to attend should register on the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ks.gov or call (785) 296-2215.

For the past six years, the attorney general’s office and the Sunshine Coalition have provided a week of training about open government laws at locations throughout the state. But a new law passed earlier this year by the Legislature places formal responsibility on the attorney general’s office to provide and coordinate training on Kansas open government laws as well as to step up enforcement of violations. During this transition, the attorney general’s office is again coordinating a training series with the Sunshine Coalition to include several trainings to be held over the course of the fiscal year that will end June 30, 2016.

“Many violations of the law are unintentional and can be avoided through proper training,” Schmidt said. “As we move toward expanded training opportunities and enforcement required under the new statute, I encourage elected officials, public employees and members of the media and general public to attend this training to learn more about what is required under these laws.”

The training about the Kansas Open Records Act and the Kansas Open Meetings Act will be conducted by attorneys in Schmidt’s office who specialize in open government laws. Panelists will include Kansas Sunshine Coalition members, local government officials and media representatives.

Schmidt said his office will announce additional training opportunities at other locations in the state in coming months.