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Kansas Records Law Doesn’t Cover Officials’ Private Emails

Maria Elena, flickr Creative Commons

State lawmakers have shown little interest in allowing public scrutiny of officials' private emails about government business, despite recent scrutiny of Hillary Rodham Clinton's communications and a case involving the governor's office.

The Kansas Open Records Act doesn't specifically cover emails or other communications with private accounts or devices, even if they involve government business.

Democratic legislators introduced proposals in both chambers of the Legislature to allow scrutiny of such communications.

The proposals were a response to disclosures that Governor Sam Brownback's budget director used a private email account at least twice in December to circulate details about potential budget proposals.

Then, Clinton came under scrutiny for using personal email exclusively for official non-classified business as U.S. secretary of state.

Neither Kansas bill has received a committee hearing.