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Archive for Saturday, March 26, 2005

Perkins’ provision clears House

March 26, 2005

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— Any public employee's total compensation must be fully disclosed under legislation approved Friday by the House.

The vote was 111-13. During a debate Thursday, House members amended the bill to require university professors to disclose consulting contracts with outside groups or companies.

The Senate approved the bill last month but would have to consider amendments added by the House, including the provision applying to professors.

House members also added language extending current exemptions to the Kansas Open Records Act for another five years and requiring local prosecutors to report to the attorney general's office all complaints about violations of the meetings law.

Various government records can be closed under 370 provisions of state law, including 46 in the Open Records Act. Under a 2000 law, those exceptions to the Open Records Act must be reviewed after five years. Any exception would be eliminated without legislative action to retain it.

As passed by the Senate, the bill was dubbed the "Lew Perkins Provision," after the Kansas University athletic director and said employment contracts or agreements must be disclosed with salaries.

In 2003, the Lawrence Journal-World asked the university to fully disclose Perkins' compensation package. The university refused and The World Company, which publishes the newspaper and operates cable television station 6News, filed a lawsuit last year to force disclosure. The Associated Press and the Kansas Press Assn. later joined the litigation.

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