Kentucky General Assembly ignores its own open meetings law

Submitted by NFOIC on Fri, 06/26/2020 - 10:49am

This, like other serious violations of Kentucky’s open government laws, might have gone unchallenged.

Citizens, as well as access advocates have learned to pick their battles.

But it is worthy of note when the Kentucky General Assembly ignores a law it enacted in March, 2020, and that it expects all other Kentucky agencies to strictly observe.

Having watched as public agencies across the Commonwealth endeavored to comply with those sections of SB 150 — the Coronavirus Relief Bill — relating to public meetings, the Kentucky Open Government Coalition found this blatant disregard for the law by lawmakers deeply offensive.

Under SB 150, the three legal options for open meetings are:

  • in-person meetings of the legislative committees;
  • live video teleconferenced meetings of the legislative committees; or
  • live audio teleconferenced meetings of the legislative committees (if video teleconferencing capabilities were unavailable).

Under less than ideal conditions, and in many cases with far fewer resources, Kentucky agencies have accepted the challenge to conduct the public’s business by live video teleconference, while protecting public health, since SB 150 was signed into law on March 30.

The Senate Majority, on the other hand, chose to ignore the legal options available to it sometime on or before June 25.

Instead, the Senate Majority chose a fourth, legally unauthorized, option: Record the virtual meetings of remote interim committee members and post the recordings at a later date. (Read more)