Kansas lawmakers consider strengthening open government law

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two bills before a Kansas Senate committee would make government meetings and records more accessible to the public.

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee heard the bills Thursday.

One bill, introduced by Lawrence Sen. Marci Francisco and Louisburg Rep. Molly Baumgartner, clarifies a law that requires government bodies to justify going into private meetings. The reason for the private meeting would have to be recorded in public minutes.

The other bill reduces how much government entities can charge for public records. It caps the price per page and requires staff time be charged at the lowest hourly rate for a qualified employee.

Committee Chairman Jacob LaTurner says the bills will be worked next week. LaTurner has advocated for legislation that would curb the costs of getting public records.

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