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Why is public scrutiny wrong?
It is with sadness I read about the Missouri Senate voting to make changes to the Sunshine Law.
I’m more upset as a citizen than I am as a reporter.
What makes it even worse is the state senate is doing this after the public voted nearly five years ago to amend the state Constitution to require the legislature to abide by transparency laws.
What do the senators think voters meant? Their wishes don’t apply to elected officers? I think not.
The Sunshine Law makes exceptions for issues that truly need to be conducted in private, but they are limited and specific.
Most government matters are required to be conducted in full view of the public they serve.
What is wrong with public scrutiny?
Folks who say they are serving the residents and voters should remember many folks have long memories.
Do the senators forget for whom they are working? The last time I checked, they are working for the voters. The voters of the state have said they want the government to be more transparent. The folks for whom you work may remember you played a role in trying to keep secrets when you worked for them. They may not like that.
Missouri’s 50-year-old Sunshine Law is designed to ensure the public has access to government records and meetings.
The citizen voters want to know what is happening and they want to be able to make their input known.
Government employees who believe the Sunshine Laws are being abused might want to check with their bosses, the voters.
Barbara Ann Horton is a staff writer with the Daily American Republic. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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