from Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh
The Kentucky Consumer Advocate Network in Louisville recently violated state Open Records laws. At least that’s the opinion of the state attorney general’s office.
In February, Rita Brooks requested specific contracts, salaries, minutes and budgetary information from the Kentucky Consumer Advocate Network, or KYCAN, of Louisville.
An attorney for KYCAN informed Brooks her Open Records request was denied, because KYCAN receives “virtually all of its funding from federal grants.” Brooks appealed to the attorney general’s office, which sides with Brooks.
The AG’s office says Community Mental Health Services Block Grant funds comprise about 70 percent of KYCAN’s budget. It’s federal money, but it’s deposited in the State Treasury, appropriated by the General Assembly and distributed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Therefore, it’s “state or local funds,” as defined by Kentucky law. And since KYCAN receives at least 25 percent of its funding from the state, it’s a public agency subject to the Open Records law.
Any party aggrieved by the AG’s opinion may appeal to circuit court.