Gov. Jeff Colyer signed off on a bipartisan transparency bill Monday that will bring more sunshine to his own office by requiring people trying to influence an executive branch official on contracts to register as a lobbyist.
The bill is the second transparency move to pass the Kansas Legislature and get final approval from Colyer.
“SB 394 will equalize the treatment of lobbying within all branches of state government," Colyer said in a statement. "The people of Kansas have the right to know who is behind getting a bill passed, how they are trying to influence that bill and where the money is coming from."
Senate President Susan Wagle and leading Senate Democrat Anthony Hensley were the driving forces behind the bipartisan legislation. It passed the House 120-0 and the Senate 40-0 earlier this month.
Transparency is "vital to keeping citizens’ confidence in their government," Wagle said in a statement.
"Kansans have the right to know who is influencing the decisions being made in Topeka," she said. "And I thank Governor Colyer for his signature of this important legislation.”
An investigation last year by The Star found that Kansas has one of the most secretive state governments in the nation. The Star’s series, “Why So Secret, Kansas?” highlighted multiple examples of state and local agencies hiding information from the public eye.