April 29, 2021

Three, Five, or 10 Days?

What is the Deadline for Open Records Requests?

Newly enacted legislation amends the Kentucky Open Records Act to extend the time from three to five days for a public agency to either produce records or provide requesters written notice of whether it will provide the documents. But wait, cities had 10 days under Senate Bill 150, adopted by the 2020 Kentucky General Assembly. How does this statute help?

Senate Bill 150 temporarily extends the deadline for open records response or production to 10 days and remains in effect during the state of emergency. It does not amend the Kentucky Open Records Act. Conversely, House Bill 312 permanently amends the Act.

Effective June 28, 2021, KRS 61.880 is amended to extend the deadline for open records response or production from three to five business days. Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays do not count for the purpose of calculating the deadline.

Governor Beshear has given no indication that he intends to lift the state of emergency declared on March 6, 2020, before the end of June. Therefore, cities likely will not again face a short, three-day turnaround to produce or respond to requests for public records.

House Bill 312 was a KLC initiative and contains many other provisions that will ease the administrative burden on our cities. A detailed explanation of House Bill 312 and a comprehensive review of all legislation impacting cities that legislators enacted in the 2021 session is available in the KLC 2021 Legislative Update.

If you have questions about this or any other legal matter, please contact the Municipal Law Department at (859) 977-3700.