Kentucky Bill Would Exempt Private Devices from Open Records Law

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Government officials in Kentucky could discuss public business on their personal devices without having to disclose it according to a surprise amendment moving quickly through the state legislature.

A legislative committee amended House Bill 302 on Wednesday to change the definition of public record to say it shall not include calls, text messages and emails if they are sent or received on a device paid for with private funds or a nongovernment email account.

Open government advocates compared it to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton using a private server for her email, a practice also used by Republican presidential administrations.

Republican Sen. Damon Thayer sponsored the amendment. He called it a privacy protection and said it was not his intent for officials to get around the state’s open records law.