Legislator Reintroduces Bill To Open E-Mail

Hays Daily News - A Leavenworth legislator plans to reintroduce a bill that ultimately could open e-mail between governing members of public agencies.

The bill, offered by Rep. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, would specifically make electronic mail (except for e-mail unrelated to public business) subject to the state's open records act.

It also would get rid of an exemption that shielded records held by city or county commissioners or agencies that do not maintain office hours of at least 35 hours a week. For the most part, commissioners or school board members do not maintain regular office hours. As well, many small communities lack offices that are staffed on a full-time basis.

Ruff's bill, initially introduced into the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs, directly addresses an open records request made earlier by The Hays Daily News for correspondence between Hays city commissioners.

Ruff said she is being forced to reintroduce the bill because it faces an uncertain fate in the committee where it was introduced. She hopes to introduce the bill today. (Kansas Press Assn.)