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Governor JulianCarroll
Representative Joe Clarke

To those who may not know, we add to the list of Governor Carroll's accomplishments his decision to sign the Kentucky Open Records Act into state law in 1976. 

His immediate predecessor, Governor Wendell Ford, signed the Open Meetings Act into law in 1974, but vetoed the Open Records Act. Ford expressed concern about the need for protection of student education records and records relating to economic development.…

Two years later, a widely esteemed Kentucky lawmaker, Danville Representative Joe Clarke, shepherded his open records bill draft to passage, declaring “The bill has grown out of the frustration that citizens feel when — after participating in the process of electing a representative government — elected officials act as if the government belongs to them rather than the people.”

So great was Governor Carroll's power at that time that a Pikeville senator commented, "My Gawd, a cockroach couldn’t crawl across the Senate floor without an OK from the governor stamped on its back.”…

Thankfully, Representative Clarke's open records bill had "an OK from the governor stamped on its back." 

The Courier Journal reported that "little opposition [was] expected" to the proposed open records law, prepared by Clarke and his Subcommittee on Open Records and pre-filed by the Interim Committee on State Government in August 1975. 

It is to Julian Carroll that credit is partially due. He died at the age of 92 on December 10.…


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