The Kentucky Open Government Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit corporation established in 2019. Our mission is to preserve and promote the Commonwealth’s open records and open meetings laws through education, outreach, and activism. Our goal is to galvanize supporters of the public’s right to know how state and local government conducts the public’s business through a citizen-based coalition — the first of its kind in Kentucky.
In the midst of an unprecedented legislative assault on the open records law, Kentucky New Era and current Hoptown Chronicle editor, Jennifer P. Brown, and retired assistant attorney general, Amye Bensenhaver, recognized the critical need for a coalition through which citizen’s — the ultimate beneficiaries of Kentucky open government laws — could expand their understanding of the laws, monitor threats to the laws, and make their voices heard in support of the laws.
Since it’s creation, the Kentucky Open Government Coalition has provided updates on developments in the Commonwealth’s open records and open meetings laws, assisted the public and public agencies in navigating the laws, engaged in educational outreach aimed at ensuring open government literacy, actively intervened to preserve the public’s existing rights by communicating concerns about proposed legislation to lawmakers, and initiated litigation to defeat the gravest threat confronting open government in the state.
We monitor the latest legislative threats to the law and report on developments emanating from the Attorney General’s office and the courts that expand or restrict your right to know.
Our Board of Directors
Amye Bensenhaver is is a retired assistant attorney general whose 25-year career in the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office focused exclusively on the Open Records and Meetings laws.
Since retiring from the Attorney General’s Office in September 2016, Bensenhaver has actively advocated for Kentucky’s sunshine laws by writing extensively on victories, defeats, and other developments in the laws. She has championed the laws in the courts, the legislature, and behind the scenes. Bensenhaver is the 2016 recipient of the University of Kentucky Scripps Howards First Amendment Center’s James Madison Award.
Jennifer P. Brown
Jennifer P. Brown is the editor and founder of Hoptown Chronicle. She has been writing about Hopkinsville for 35 years — first as a reporter and editor for the Kentucky New Era for three decades and more recently as an independent journalist.
Brown co-chairs the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky and she is a governing board member for the Kentucky Historical Society and the Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County. She is a co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition. She serves on the Community Advisory Board of WKMS, the public radio station at Murray State University. Brown earned the Bachelor of Science in Journalism at Murray and the MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Goucher College, Baltimore.
Austin Horn is a politics reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He previously worked for the Frankfort State Journal and National Public Radio. Horn has roots in both Woodford and Martin Counties.
Scott Horn is a software engineer and open data advocate. He earned Bachelors in Mathematics and Spanish and a Master's in Library Science from the Univeristy of Kentucky. Scott worked sixteen years in public libraries and universities before transitioning to the private sector.
Born in Ohio, Tom earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Kentucky in 1998. He focuses on Kentucky and Appalachian history and Post-WWII U.S. History.
Since 1997, Tom has taught in the Department of History, Philosophy, Politics, Global Studies & Legal Studies (School of Humanities & Social Sciences) at Morehead State University.
In 2008, he published “Reformers to Radicals: The Appalachian Volunteers and the War on Poverty,” a monograph that examines the actions of an antipoverty organization that worked in eastern Kentucky in the 1960s during President Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
Having served on the Libraries, Archives, and Records Advisory Committee for many years, Tom is a familiar figure in the public archives and records world. He is a vocal advocate for preservation of public records that tell Kentucky’s story.
Tom also serves as a director on the board of the Friends of Kentucky Public Libraries and Archives.
As an historian who relies on public records in his daily work, Tom brings an invaluable perspective to the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.
Jeremy S. Rogers
Jeremy Rogers is a partner in the Louisville office of Dinsmore & Shohl. He earned a degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky, a law degree from Boston College, and clerked for the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. Jeremy’s law practice has focused on the First Amendment, and he has written and presented extensively on multiple First Amendment-related topics. Jeremy was awarded the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center’s James Madison Award in 2018.