AG tosses part of closure complaint against Kansas Senate

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In this Monday, June 24, 2019 photo, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt responds to questions during an Associated Press interview in Topeka, Kan. Schmidt argues that a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling protecting abortion rights could open up new avenues for litigation as defense attorneys are citing it in attacking capital punishment. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A government transparency group says the Kansas attorney general’s office has dismissed part of a formal complaint, while continuing to investigate whether the public was denied the right under the Open Meetings Act to observe Senate business after the visitor gallery was closed during a protest.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government sought intervention by Attorney General Derek Schmidt after the May 29 Senate session was interrupted by supporters of Medicaid expansion.

Reporters were removed from the chamber during the protest. Senators, legislative staff, employees of the governor and others were allowed to remain.

Sunshine Coalition President says the attorney general’s office notified the organization that allegations the Senate violated its own rules and operated contrary to the First Amendment went beyond its authority.

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