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Minutes for SB86 - Committee on Federal and State Affairs

Short Title

Kansas open records act and openness in government.

Minutes Content for Thu, Apr 6, 2017

Chairperson Barker opened the hearing on SB86.  Jason Long, Revisor of Statutes, provided an overview on SB86 (Attachment 8)

Representative Williams asked what open records would be included in this bill. The Revisor indicated it would apply to anything that applies to the Open Records Act.  Representative Williams is concerned about the requirement that records, such as birth certificates,death certificates, deeds,and other documents kept by the Register of Deeds or other agencies would not be provided to out-of-state residents without the signature of a Kansas resident.

Representative Rooker asked if there are different charges for nonresidents requesting records or would they not be allowed to request records without a Kansas resident signing for them.  The Revisor stated there was some disparity in the bill.

Representative Clayton asked whether minutes would be required in small city committee meetings, such as a public works committee meeting, and the Revisor advised that they would be required to keep minutes.

Representative Karleskint asked why there was a need for keeping non-Kansas residents from obtaining records.  Mr. Long advised he did not know what the motivation was in the Senate.

Representative Williams asked about the charges for sending information electronically.  Mr. Long advised that the agency would be allowed to charge whatever it costs them to provide those records.

In response to a question by Representative Whitmer, Mr. Long stated that, although there are different considerations regarding personal emails by legislators, there are instances where a legislator could be the custodian of a record that is subject to the Kansas Open Records Act and, therefore, that record could be requested.

Chairperson Barker asked if any other state had this requirement on out-of-state persons requesting records,  Mr. Long responded that he did not know what other states required on non-resident requests for records.

Chairperson Barker recognized Senator Tom Holland as a proponent of SB86 (Attachment 9).

Rich Gannon testified as a proponent (Attachment 10).

Chairperson Barker recognized Harold Leach.  His testimony was read by Betty Wilson (Attachment 11) (Attachment 11A)

Betty Wilson testified as a proponent of SB86 (Attachment 12).

Chairperson Barker left the room and Vice-Chairperson Highland presided over the meeting.

Vice-Chairperson Highland asked if there were any other proponents.  Representative Willie Dove addressed the Committee.  The Vice-Chairperson asked him to provide written testimony to the Committee Secretary.  (No written testimony was provided.)

Vice-Chairperson Highland opened the floor for questions of the proponents.  Representatives Wilson, Whitmer, Ruiz, and Humphries had questions for Mr. Leach and Senator Holland.

Chairperson Barker returned to the room and resumed leadership of the Committee.  He noted that there was written proponent testimony from Vickie Frost (Attachment 13) and Assistant Attorney General Cheryl Whelan (Attachment 14).

Chairperson Barker recognized Kim Parker who testified as an opponent to SB86 on behalf of the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association (Attachment 15).

Sharon Schuster of the Kansas Register of Deeds Association was recognized by Chairperson Barker as an opponent to the bill (Attachment 16).

Scott Heidner testified as an opponent on behalf of the Consumer Data Industry Association (Attachment 17).  Chairperson Barker asked him to provide the language used in Texas regarding public record requests to the Committee Assistant so it could be distributed to the Committee.  Mr. Heidner said he would provide that as well as the language used in the state of Arkansas.  Following the hearing, Mr. Heidner provided the Texas language (Attachment 23)  and the Arkansas statute (Attachment 24) requested by Chairperson Barker. 

Chairperson Barker recognized Ed Klumpp as an opponent to SB86 on behalf of the Kansas Sheriffs Association, the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Kansas Peace Officers Association (Attachment 18).

Chairperson Barker noted that there was written opponent testimony from Kirk Thompson of the KBI (Attachment 19) and Leavenworth County Sheriff Andrew Dedeke (Attachment 20).

Chairperson Barker then recognized Eric Smith, League of Kansas Municipalities as a neutral on SB86 (Attachment 21).

Melissa Wangemann testified as a neutral for the Kansas Association of Counties (Attachment 22).

Questions were asked by Representative Whitmer to Ed Klumpp and Representative Weber to Kim Parker.

Chairperson Barker closed the hearing on SB86.