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Governor Brownback Won’t Make Kansas Agency Budget Plans Public

Governor Sam Brownback speaking to reporters last year. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Governor Sam Brownback's administration says his office will not release any spending proposals until the final version of his budget plan is unveiled in January. The administration has asked agencies to determine what they’d do if a 5 percent budget cut was needed, but those documents won’t be made public.

Eileen Hawley, a spokesperson for the governor, says in a statement that those documents not subject to the Kansas Open Records Act.

"Our past and current practice is that draft budget documents are pre-decisional and therefore considered exempt from KORA until the governor releases his budget recommendations to the Legislature in January," says Hawley.

Doug Anstaett, with the Kansas Press Association, says the administration is choosing closed government over transparency.
“Everybody knows the shape of the budget and knows that without some kind of revenue enhancement, there’s going to have to be more cuts made. The public has a right to know what the governor is considering and what he’s asking his agencies to do,” says Anstaett
Those types of documents have been made public in some past administrations. Staff with the Kansas Board of Regents say that agency will release the budget-cutting proposals they’re considering.

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