Kansas runs one of the most secretive state governments in the nation, and its secrecy permeates nearly every aspect of service, The Star found in a months-long investigation. From the governor’s office to state agencies, from police departments to business relationships to health care, on the floors of the House and Senate, a veil has descended over the years and through administrations on both sides of the political aisle.
In Kansas, more than 90% of legislative bills written in the past decade were drafted by anonymous authors
In the past decade, more than 90 percent of the laws passed by the Kansas Legislature have come from anonymous authors. Kansans often had no way of knowing who was pushing which legislation and why, and the topics have included abortion, concealed weapons and school funding. Kansas is one of only a few states that allow the practice.
Secrecy became even worse during the Brownback administration.
Sen. Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, has spent 41 years in the Legislature, making him the longest-serving lawmaker in Kansas history. He has served under eight governors — half of them Republicans, half Democrats. “We’ve had a real problem with this current administration,” Hensley said. “This is the least transparent administration I have seen. To be able to even get basic information about issues like foster care and the corrections department, it’s next to impossible when you make an inquiry.”