Archive for Friday, April 1, 2005

Lew Perkins Provision’ on the verge of passage

April 1, 2005

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— The Kansas Legislature on Thursday appeared on the verge of expanding the list of government records that must be made public, including a new provision that would require university faculty to file financial interest reports.

A House-Senate conference committee agreed to a package that will probably be considered by the House and Senate, and if approved, go to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for consideration.

The major proposal would make any public employee's total compensation available to public disclosure. That component is called the "Lew Perkins Provision," after the Kansas University athletic director.

It was the result of a lawsuit filed by The World Company -- which publishes the Lawrence Journal-World and operates cable TV's 6News -- against KU after the university refused to disclose Perkins' compensation.

A new provision added to the bill would require all faculty making more than $50,000 per year to file with state ethics officials a statement that lists other sources of income.

That was added to the bill by rural legislators who have complained over the past years of professors testifying against family farm bills and not revealing their financial ties to corporate agriculture interests.

The package of bills also would require county prosecutors to compile reports on open meeting and open record complaints, and it would make nonprofit organizations that receive funds from public agencies disclose how those funds are spent.

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