The following editorial is attributed to Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka:
A series recently published by The Kansas City Star brought necessary attention to the secrecy surrounding Kansas government. However, what the series does not mention is that over the years, Kansas Senate Democrats have consistently demonstrated our commitment by holding open caucus meetings, cooperating with open record requests, signing the Open Kansas Transparency Pledge, and introducing and supporting bills that seek to make state government more open and accessible. These bills include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting the use of private emails to conduct public business to avoid being subject to open records requests;
- Requiring the governor to release the names of applicants to the Kansas Court of Appeals and the nominating commission for Supreme Court justices to comply with Kansas open meetings and open records acts;
- Implementing live audio streaming in certain committee rooms, allowing Kansans to listen in on the legislative process;
- Prohibiting changes in party affiliation prior to a gubernatorial appointment;
- Imposing a two-year restriction on lobbying by former elected and appointed state officials;
- Updating the open meetings law by requiring better justifications for closed or executive meetings as introduced by Senator Marci Francisco; and,
- Requiring law enforcement officers to wear body cameras as introduced by Senator David Haley.
While many of the bills mentioned above have finally passed after years of perseverance, there are just as many introduced that have never received committee hearings and are often ignored.
Bi-partisan cooperation brought great success in the 2017 Legislative Session. With that same cooperation, we have the opportunity to make our government work better for the people of Kansas. Kansas Senate Democrats are ready.
 Introduced as Senate Bill 201 in 2016 by Senator Anthony Hensley; signed into law as part of CCR Sub for SB 22
 2016 House Sub. For SB 128
 Budget proviso added to the 2016 State Budget, House Sub. for SB 249
 2016 Senate Bill 431, introduced by Senator Anthony Hensley
 2017 Senate Bill 9, introduced by Senator Anthony Hensley
 2017 Senate Bill 70
 2016 Senate Bill 427