Kansas governor backs bill to open records on child deaths

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer introduces Gina Meier-Hummel, of Lawrence, to be the next secretary of the Department for Children and Families, Nov. 22, 2017, at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.

? Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and the state’s top child welfare official are backing legislation to require disclosure of some records when a child dies of abuse or neglect.

Colyer and Department for Children Families Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel announced Monday that they’re supporting a bill introduced last week in the Kansas House.

The bill would require the department to release a child’s age, gender and date of death upon receiving an open records request. It also would have to release a summary of its reports of child abuse or neglect and its findings about those reports.

Kansas has had several high-profile cases in recent years of children who died in abusive homes. Colyer said under the bill, the public would learn what steps the state took to protect a child.