Kansas Open Records law called obstructive

If you want to see public documents from government agencies in Kansas, there are more than 40 exemptions by which agencies can deny records. And that’s total b.s., according to sources quoted in a Star story Sunday. The story, about how some Johnson County municipalities are having trouble adhering to the Open Meetings Act, notes the state’s requirement that each municipality decide how to respond to records requests  “has led to what appear to be exorbitant prices for some documents.”

To wit:
  • $11,000 for records on surveillance in Lenexa;
  • A bill for $47,000 for emails from a Johnson County Community College employee;
  • More than $400 for receipts related to construction on the Kansas statehouse;
  • $25 an hour at K-State and $33 an hour at KU to LOOK at documents

“Public officials have forgotten that the public records are already paid for … the public paid the taxes, they paid the salaries that helped produce these records,” Kansas Press Association executive director Doug Anstaett told The Star. “All we are asking for them to do is go to a file cabinet or a computer and give those records to us. They are ours, bought and paid for.”

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