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Archive for Friday, February 18, 2005

Senate to debate open records bill

February 18, 2005

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— The Senate will debate an open records bill next week to require full disclosure of public employees' compensation, Majority Leader Derek Schmidt said Thursday.

Supporters call the measure the "Lew Perkins Provision," after the University of Kansas athletic director.

The World Company, which publishes the Lawrence Journal-World and operates cable television station 6News, filed a lawsuit last year to force disclosure of Perkins' compensation package. AP and the Kansas Press Assn. later joined the litigation.

When a Douglas County district judge ruled in the media organizations' favor, the university released the records.

The bill, endorsed Wednesday by the Senate Elections and Local Government Committee, would place the district court ruling into state law, mandating the disclosure of all compensation records, even those involving anonymous gifts and other, private sources.

The committee heard no opposition to the measure during hearings.

"I haven't heard any real criticisms," said Schmidt, R-Independence.

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