Kansas official’s private email on budget sparks debate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas House has rejected a proposal to expand the state Open Records Act so that it would cover private emails by state officials about government business.

The House on Monday voted 86 to 30 against a proposal from Wichita Democrat Jim Ward.

His measure was inspired by a Wichita Eagle report that Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director used a private email account in December to give two lobbyists a preview of Brownback’s proposals weeks before they were formally unveiled to lawmakers.

Ward offered his proposal as an amendment to an open records bill that later received first-round approval in the House.

Brownback’s office declined to comment on Ward’s proposal. But several GOP lawmakers criticized Ward for not bringing his proposal to a committee for a thorough vetting.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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