Editorial: House Bill 216 would hurt Kentucky’s open meetings law

A government that best serves the interests of its people doesn’t seek to unnecessarily hide information, but that’s exactly what one bill introduced in the Kentucky House seeks to do.

House Bill 216 — sponsored by Rep. Jason Petrie, a Republican who represents a section of southwestern Kentucky — would exempt committees that award “built-to-suit” contracts from the Open Meetings Act. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the bill perfectly fits arguments made by the Finance and Administration Cabinet in a lawsuit against State Journal reporter Alfred Miller.

We simply requested meeting schedules, minutes and other basic records from the Capital Plaza redevelopment project’s Built-to-Suit Selection Committee. Denied access to the records, we filed a complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and prevailed. In its decision, the Attorney General’s Office said the Finance and Administration Cabinet didn’t provide a valid excuse for not providing the records. Appealing the ruling, the Finance and Administration Cabinet filed suit. Read more…