Archive | February, 2015

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AG’s open records enforcement bill virtually unopposed

Supporters of HB 206, which would provide for alternative dispute resolution-style negotiations upon findings of violation by the Attorney General’s office as well as more specific enforcement powers for violations of KORA and KOMA, testified in favor of the bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February 18, 2015.  Read the Topeka Capital-Journal’s coverage here.

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State interest in bill forbidding state employee titles in op-ed articles far from legitimate, let alone compelling

On February 18, 2015, the House Education Committee had a hearing on HB 2234 seeking to forbid state employees from including their titles in op-ed article contributions to newspapers.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Reps. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, and Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie, in advocating for the bill, offered an “amendment that would apparently allow university […]

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Resolving Open Records Disputes: New Statutory Sections Proposed in SB 206

It is well-established that district courts in Kansas have jurisdiction to rule on controversies involving the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) and the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA). K.S.A. 45-222; K.S.A. 75-4320a. However, Kansas law has long lacked a specific enforcement mechanism to better ensure compliance with open records laws. In an attempt to remedy […]

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Prohibiting professors from using their titles in Op-Ed pieces is unconstitutional

Recently-introduced HB 2234 seeks to require all post-secondary institutions in the state to implement a policy preventing their employees from including their official titles when “authoring or contributing to a newspaper opinion column.” In other words, the bill seeks to restrict the speech of those employees, specifically with regard to those employees’ freedom to include […]

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SLAPPing Back: modified HB 2054 and the protections it affords

The Public Speech Protection Act (“the Act”), as proposed in HB 2054, would strengthen Kansans’ right to freedom of expression while simultaneously protecting them against the threat of costly, groundless litigation.  HB 2054 would benefit defendants in cases that are considered to be Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation cases, or SLAPP. Such defendants are sued […]

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