Lawmakers Bust Myth with Open Budget Negotiations
Kentucky lawmakers busted a myth late last week when they reached agreement on a $19 billion state budget without retreating out of public view. In the past, negotiators have worked out details of the Commonwealth's budget behind closed doors with shades down, hallways roped off and state troopers standing guard. Negotiators this year allowed Kentucky Educational Television cameras to run throughout the proceedings. Reporters weren't allowed in the room but were able to monitor the talks via the KET feed. In passing an open meetings law decades ago, Kentucky lawmakers excluded themselves from its provisions. And House and Senate leaders have traditionally used that exclusion to its fullest, shutting themselves away to decide the budget.