KS lawmakers pass body cam bill expanding access to body, dash cam video
Update Thursday, May 3:
Legislation expanding the public's access to body cameras passed both houses in Topeka and is expected to have the governor's signature later this month.
The law would allow those recorded on law enforcement body cameras or their attorneys, to view the video within 20 days of requesting access.
A compromise with the legislation also includes a comprehensive study of the entire body cam issue this summer.
Update: March 23
Kansas senators pass legislation expanding your access to body cameras.
The final vote was 40 to nothing.
Now, the bill heads to a conference committee where lawmakers will resolve minor differences between the bills.
Once the two sides agree and pass legislation, it will then end up on the governor's desk.
No word if he will sign the proposal.
The Kansas Senate gave preliminary approval to legislation modifying the state's body cam laws.
If the bill is approved, it would allow those recorded on law enforcement body cameras or their attorneys, to view the video within 20 days of requesting access.
The senate could take up the bill for a final vote as soon as today. If it passes, the legislation would return to the house for a vote.
A bill related to the release of body camera video has passed the Kansas House before being discussed in the Senate.
The bill allows families and those associated with the body camera video to see that video within 20 days if a request is made to do so.
The original bill had two parts: determining when the family of someone in the body cam video could get the footage and when the public could get access to it.
After negotiations, lawmakers decided to just attach the family part of the bill, saying a family member should get the video within 20 days of a request.
Representative Jim Ward (D) Wichita says this was the easiest part of the issue.
"We made a good firs step," he says. "What we've done is eliminated a problem where police departments wouldn't let families see the video of someone who was injured or killed in police custody or interactions with police."
Ward says those who are pushing for more transparency will be back next year to push for regulations on when the public can get the video.