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Official photos of Reps. Hatton, Minter, and Wheatley

The Kentucky Open Government Coalition extends its thanks to Rep. Angie Hatton (D-Whitesburg) as her years of service to the Commonwealth draw to a close and she redirects her formidable energies to local service.…

Rep. Hatton consistently supported the principles of open government in Kentucky. Rep. Hatton, Rep. Buddy Wheatley (D-Covington), and Rep. Patty Minter (D-Bowling Green), regularly raised their voices in support of the public’s right to know under Kentucky’s open records and meetings laws. In an increasingly hostile legislative environment that advanced an anti-open government agenda through exaggeration and misrepresentation, this was not easy.……

The clearest example, by far, was the claim that legislators’ constituent communications were available for public inspection, without impediment, under the pre-2021 open records law. Lawmakers succeeded, with ease, in enacting 2021’s HB 312 — which, among other things, exempted the General Assembly and the Legislative Research Commission from the open records law, and insulated their denial of records request from judicial challenge — by perpetuating this false claim.

Reps. Hatton, Wheatley, and Minter recognized the deception and voted “no” to HB 312 —albeit to no avail.

The Coalition thanks each of them for their service — along with retiring state representatives Joni Jenkins (D-Shively) and Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville) — who appreciated, and sought to preserve, the open records and open meetings laws during their years of service to the Commonwealth.……

Reflecting on her years in the House of Representatives, Rep. Hatton writes, in today’s edition of The Mountain Eagle:

“Serving as state representative is an immense responsibility, especially in a district with as many needs as ours. I was willing to shoulder the responsibility to meet those needs, but my time is done and that work now shifts to someone else.

“With that in mind, let me end by wishing state Representative-elect Jacob Justice well as he prepares to take on this challenge. As for me, I stand ready as always to help the mountain people however I can, whenever needed, and wherever I’m called.”…

In the words of political columnist Bill Moyers, “Secrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of.”

Angie Hatton, Patty Minter, and Buddy Wheatley — each defeated (or redistricted out of office) in the recent general election — understood this and worked for Kentuckians to try to ensure that the dream of a majority of Kentucky lawmakers did not come true.


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