After reviewing the new statutory sections that SB 206 would add to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) and the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) last Friday, today I will examine the proposed changes to existing statutory provisions. For reference, SB 206 can be found here. Sections 10 and 14 of SB 206 would amend […]
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 […]
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 […]
A recently-introduced bill would prohibit members of academia from “providing or using such employee’s official title when authoring or contributing to a newspaper column….when the opinion of the employee concerns a person who currently holds any elected public office in this state, a person who is a candidate for any elected public office in this […]
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 […]
In light of the governor’s comments that he “mostly uses his private cellphone,” Kansas Democrats have proposed a modification to the Kansas Open Records Act that would make such communications open to the public. Read the Journal-World’s account here.
On January 29, 2015, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the anti-SLAPP bill proposed by Rep. Jan Pauls (R). Read the Journal-World’s account here.
January 29, 2015 To: Rep. John Barker, chairman House Judiciary Committee, and of the members of the committee From: Maxwell Kautsch, attorney at law, Kautsch Law, LLC RE: Anti-SLAPP legislation, HB 2054 Chairman Barker and members of the committee: As one who is interested in freedom of expression, I have read HB 2054 and hereby […]
For years, anyone could go to a courthouse and look up marriage licenses. Now, however, the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration (OJA) has taken the position that public access to records of marriages should be limited. In taking this position, JOA claims it seeks to protect the privacy of marriage licensees. For authority to restrict […]
In response to Judge Kay Huff’s ruling on December 19, 2014, denying the Lawrence Journal-World’s motion to unseal, the newspaper filed a petition for mandamus review at the Kansas Supreme Court. Read the story here.