Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bill to Make Agency Heads Pay Open Records Fines Misses the Mark

Extend it to city and county officials and increase the fines by an order of magnitude, and you've got something.

Jack Brammer at the Herald:

A bill was filed Monday that would make state officials personally responsible when a court determines that the agencies they oversee have withheld state records willfully.

Senate Bill 130, sponsored by Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, would force the agency leaders to pay court awards and attorney fees out of their own pockets.


Denton said her bill was in response to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services being fined $756,000 in December after a judge said it made "a mockery" of the state's Open Records Acts for repeatedly withholding information in its files about abused and neglected children.


Denton said her bill would keep taxpayers' money from going to newspaper companies.
BZZZZZZZT! Oh, sorry, Julie - you were so close! But thanks for playing!

"Newspaper companies," public interest groups, citizen activists and others who file open records requests and take recalcitrant agencies to court receive those fines to cover the extensive costs of forcing public servants to do their fucking jobs and obey the fucking law. They have earned that money and deserve to get it, no matter how you may personally feel about the "newspaper companies" in your hometown that regularly expose the stupidity of you and your repug colleagues.

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