texting

The Government Records Preservation Act: Connections to KORA

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Senate Committee on Judiciary introduced SB 361, a bill that would amend the definition of “public records” to include state-related communications made from personal devices. The bill was the result of a recommendation of the Kansas Judicial Council’s Open Records Advisory Committee reached during several meetings in the fall […]

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KSU settlement agreement

Fresh Tips: Public agency settlement agreements are subject to disclosure under KORA

Settlement agreements memorializing amounts paid by public agencies to end legal disputes are public records under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) and thus subject to disclosure, even if the parties to the dispute attempt to keep the agreement confidential. As long as settlement documents are retained by the agency in the ordinary course of […]

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Data Center

Balancing truthful political advertising with news organizations’ First Amendment interests

For Kansas news media, the political campaign season is an opportunity to inform the public by publishing news reports about candidates as well as political advertising. However, a Kansas statute interferes with the media’s freedom to publish political ads on their websites, limiting the media’s ability to inform and threatening their ability to earn revenue […]

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judicial building atrium

Kansas Supreme Court amends Rule 106; marriage information now limited

Despite opposition from journalists, genealogists, and others, the Kansas Supreme Court has amended Supreme Court Rule 106 so that marriage information that had been publicly available for decades is no longer accessible.  Instead, courts are to prepare a “limited marriage record.”  The rule went into effect on October 1, 2015, and can be found here. […]

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capitol-dome

Suggestions for legislation to support open government and press freedom in Kansas

Over the past few months, Fresh Takes has documented the need to amend certain Kansas laws that govern public access to government information and that relate to press freedom. The following are summaries of possible statutory improvements that ideally would be a top priority in the 2016 Kansas legislative session. Revise the Kansas Open Records […]

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video recording

Revising KORA: Copying audio and video records

As discussed in this space, audio and video recordings in possession of government agencies, such as law enforcement, are public records, and available for inspection under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA). However, under KORA, agencies “shall not be required to provide copies of radio or recording tapes or discs, video tapes or films, pictures, […]

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meeting room at capitol

Revising KORA: Correctly interpreting the “third business day” language of K.S.A. 45-218(d)

Evidence is accumulating that public agencies in Kansas are not responding to records requests within the time required by K.S.A. 45-218(d) of the Kansas Open Records Act (KROA). As a result, agencies often produce records only belatedly, if all. As a consequence, those requesting records are frustrated, and the agencies avoid being transparent in the […]

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