Affidavits, KORA bills passed by House, Senate

Posted March 6, 2014

The Kansas House passed by a vote of 113-10 House Bill 2555, which would open to public scrutiny the probable cause affidavits used to support arrest warrants. These records have been closed in Kansas for close to more than three decades, even though they are open court records in most states.

Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, led the effort. Richard Gannon, KPA's director of governmental affairs, and Ron Keefover, president of the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, worked the bill hard to get it out of committee.

They pointed out that in the case of the 10-year-old Kansas City girl who was kidnapped and murdered last week, the probable cause statement was released fewer than 24 hours after an arrest was made in the killing.

The bill had not been read in or assigned to a committee in the Senate at press time today.

SB 10, a bill to bring greater clarity to what can be charged for public records and one that limits charges on routine requests, passed out of the Senate 33-7 and is awaiting House action.