Kansas GOP senators defend closed caucus meetings

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Topeka, Kan. (AP) -- Republicans in the Kansas Senate have blocked a proposal from Democrats to require all legislative party caucus meetings to be open to the public.

The GOP-dominated Senate voted 30-8 on Wednesday against a proposal from Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat. Only one Republican, Carolyn McGinn of Sedgwick, supported his measure.

The Kansas Open Meetings Act generally requires government meetings to be open to the public. But it has an exception for the Legislature, so that Republicans and Democrats in each chamber can close their daily caucus meetings.

The meetings are rarely closed, though Senate Republicans have done so at least twice over the past decade. Hensley said all caucus meetings should be open.

But Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce of Hutchinson said the current system works well.

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