Opinion Columns & Blogs

Why wait to update open records law?

Schmidt AP

Give credit to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence, for acknowledging that the Kansas Open Records Act should be updated to reflect current technology. But is it really necessary to spend months rewriting the law in anticipation of action during the 2016 legislative session? Urgency is in order, especially with Schmidt having just issued an opinion effectively blessing state employees’ use of personal e-mail accounts to hide their communications from disclosure under KORA. The 2015 Legislature is still in session, and Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, already has filed a bill to plug the e-mail loophole. If Schmidt and King won’t press for immediate action, Gov. Sam Brownback at least should establish a policy requiring administration employees to use state e-mail accounts for state business. – Rhonda Holman