Kentucky House Bill would exempt committees that award “build-to-suit” contract

A bill that would shroud future projects like Frankfort’s Capital Plaza redevelopment in an extra layer of secrecy has moved a step toward passage.

Following an, at times, spirited debate on the virtues of transparency in government and necessity of secrecy in procurement, members of the House Committee on State Government on Thursday sent House Bill 216 to the full chamber for consideration.

The committee vote split 11-6 along party lines, with Democrats opposing the bill and Republicans generally supporting it, though Rep. Scott Wells, R-West Liberty, elected to “pass” and Rep. Phil Moffett, R-Louisville, qualified his “yes” by adding that there was “a lot to not like” about the bill.

House Bill 216, sponsored by state Rep. Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, would amend Kentucky’s Open Meetings Act to exempt committees that award “built-to-suit” contracts, a type of public-private partnership, from its requirements. The bill would also amend Kentucky’s Open Records Act to conceal the identities of committee members as well as records of the procurement process until after a contract is awarded. Read more…