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Kansas bill would exempt juror addresses from public record

Associated Press - May 7, 2017 8:20 am

Three Kansas lawmakers say Gov. Sam Brownback told a small group of legislators it would be politically better for him if they overrode his veto and repealed tax cuts rather than proposing another tax plan for him to sign.

Kansas lawmakers Friday passed a compromise bill aimed at protecting jurors from harassment without impairing court transparency.

The House passed the bill 118-3 on Friday. The Senate passed it 40-0 on Wednesday.

The bill exempts jurors’ addresses from the public record. The original bill also exempted jurors’ names, but transparency advocates say that would be a step toward court secrecy. They reached a compromise with district judges who say disclosing jurors’ names and information leaves them open to harassment. District judges say the disclosure has a “chilling effect” on prospective jurors.

Jurors’ names would still be public record under the bill. District Judge James Fleetwood says just guarding jurors’ addresses would help prevent harassment.

GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s spokeswoman Melika Willoughby declined to say whether Brownback would sign the bill.