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The second round of the 2017 General Assembly convened Tuesday in Frankfort with 25 days remaining on the 30-day session schedule. The legislature was in session for five days in January then took a month hiatus before returning to work.

The 2017 session is scheduled to end by March 31.

Legislation is picking up speed with numerous bills introduced this week. We’re seeing legislation on open records including autopsy reports/photographs and accident reports, and publication of school district financial statements. That’s not surprising being it’s coming from a Northern Kentucky Senator but in light of the LRC commissioning a study of moving notices from newspapers to government websites, it seems premature. The LRC staff surmised that the issue is much more involved and important than just legislating the movement.

As for the autopsy reports and the accident reports — House Bill 67 and House Bill 215 respectively — both contain language supplied by KPA General Counsel Ashley Pack that ensures the autopsy reports and accident reports remain open records for “news-gathering organizations.”

HB67, sponsored by Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously on Wednesday. It was one of five bills considered by the committee but the only one to pass without opposition.

We’re also watching for proposed legislation from the Kentucky League of Cities concerning body cams worn by city police officers. Jon Fleischaker came to Frankfort Monday to meet with KLC officials and discuss a draft of some proposed legislation. KPA would oppose the legislation as drafted but gave KLC some suggestions on how KPA’s opposition could be lessened.

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