Tuesday, November 7, 2017

AG: Crafting KY Pension Deform In Secret Was Illegal

If it's done in secret, you can be sure it's something that voters will hate.  As proven by the universal outcry against it the instant this fuck-the-teachers plan hit oxygen.

The Kentucky House of Representatives violated the state’s Open Meetings Act with a closed-door conference in August where lawmakers from both parties huddled to discuss their plans to deal with the state’s pension shortfall, Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office announced Monday.

The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, a free-market think tank based in Lexington, challenged the legality of the private House meeting, arguing that the public should be able to watch anytime the House conducts business. The attorney general — whose opinion carries the force of law on open meetings and open records issues — sided with the Bluegrass Institute.

“A quorum of the House was present,” Assistant Attorney General Matt James wrote. “In closing the meeting to the public without an authorized exception, the House violated the Open Meetings Act.”

In its response to the Bluegrass Institute’s appeal, an attorney for the House said the entire legislative body did not technically meet that day. Rather, it was “a meeting of the House majority caucus, which was open to members of the House minority caucus,” and “both of these entities are specifically exempt” from the Open Meetings Act, the attorney argued.
That was a stretch, legally speaking, said Jim Waters, president of the Bluegrass Institute.

“They have no right to shut the people out of their discussions,” Waters said. “The formation of public policy is just as important as what the final policy turns out to be. And it’s important to remember that the open meetings law is something the legislature has imposed on other public entities to follow.”

Only one lawmaker walked out of the Aug. 29 pension meeting to protest the fact that it was behind conducted in secret — state Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville.
Shame on the dems who did not follow Wayne out the door.

The punishment for violating Kentucky's Open Meetings Act is 30 days in the public stocks.

Sigh, of course not.  At very worst, the repugs will have to release video or audio recordings of the meetings.  Which could be illuminating.  But not as much fun as throwing rotten tomatoes at their faces.

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