Kentucky’s news media outlets received a news release earlier this week from Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, following up on a press conference Beshear had Wednesday. The press conference focused on Beshear’s second year as Kentucky’s AG and highlighted many of the actions taken and concerns of his office.
While it highlighted the substance abuse situation in the state, one that the AG referred to as “the challenge of our lifetime,” an announcement toward the bottom of the release may have gone unnoticed by the media.
The release noted that Beshear’s office has issued Open Meetings/Records opinions “at a record-pace” in 2017, and then included an announcement about the process he will initiate in 2018 on Open Records requests:
“As part of his ongoing push for transparency, Beshear’s office ruled on Open Record and Open Meetings opinions at a record-setting pace, and released its biennial report to the public and state officials.
“In an effort to better protect students on campus, Beshear filed lawsuits against Kentucky State University and Western Kentucky University regarding their attempts to avoid transparency and accountability in responding to and investigating sexual assault. The office’s ongoing case against the University of Kentucky is before the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
“The office will begin accepting open records requests from the public or media by email beginning in 2018. Currently the office receives these requests through fax, postal mail or personal delivery only.”
Receiving these requests by email pertains only to the AG’s Office itself. Any attempt to include other or all public agencies in this technology would require approval by the Kentucky General Assembly. For now, receiving email requests for Open Records includes only the Attorney General’s Office.