Help us identify best open government advocates

November 30, 2017

The start of the 2018 session of the Kansas Legislature is just five weeks away, so the Kansas Press Association is asking members to help us identify the legislators who we can count on to stand behind an open government agenda.

The Kansas City Star's recent five-part special report on the lack of transparency - "Why so secret, Kansas?"

 - has sparked interest in the public and among some legislators in strengthening the Kansas Open Records and Kansas Open Meetings acts.

In addition, two incidents involving law enforcement use of lethal force in Topeka and near Medicine Lodge have piqued interest in taking another look at the body and vehicle cam legislation passed in 2015.

KPA is looking at a number of other issues as well, including the excessive cost of accessing open records, video streaming of legislative hearings and the state's law enforcement registry, among others.

"Because of Rich Gannon's retirement, Emily Bradbury and I will be sharing the responsibilities involved with lobbying," said Doug Anstaett, KPA executive director. "We'll be relying as usual on members to be at the ready to come to Topeka on short notice if an issue rears its head during the session."

If you think your local legislator would join a collaborative effort on governmental transparency, please send his or her name to danstaett@kspress.com or ebradbury@kspress.com.

"We're looking for solid champions, not those who only give transparency lip service at home but forget about it when they get to Topeka," Anstaett said.