Transparency pledge drawing few lawmakers

Reps. John Rubin, left, R-Shawnee, and John Wilson, D-Lawrence, are the first two lawmakers to sign a transparency

? Only a handful of Kansas’ 165 legislators have signed an initiative to promote openness and transparency in state government by taking what is being called the “transparency pledge,” but the list does include most Lawrence-area legislators.

The Open Kansas initiative was announced Jan. 27 by a coalition of advocacy groups, including Kansas Appleseed, El Centro, Communities Creating Opportunity, Kansas Action for Children, and Kansas Association of Community Action Programs.

The pledge does not call for any specific legislation but asks lawmakers to support “public and transparent processes, timely and reasonable access to public information and increased public participation.”

Reps. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, and John Rubin, R-Shawnee, were the first two lawmakers to sign the pledge at a Statehouse news conference Jan. 27.

Since then, Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence, and Sens. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, have signed on. But according to the group’s website, only eight others have signed the pledge as well. They include

• Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka

• Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan

• Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka

• Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita

• Rep. Will Carpenter, R-El Dorado

• Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City

• Rep. Ben Scott, D-Topeka

• Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita

• Rep. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills