Bill could cloud Sunshine Law
Three months after voters approved Amendment 1, or the Clean Missouri amendment, the Missouri House passed a bill this week that could cloud the state’s Sunshine Law.
House Bill 445 would add to the records that can currently be closed from the public under the law.
It states, “any document or record, including electronic communications, received or prepared by or on behalf of a member of a public governmental body consisting of advice, opinions and recommendations in connection with the deliberative decision-making process of said body.”
That could be House members, local government officials and school boards doing any kind of business.
HB 445 started as a law that “prohibits lobbyists from giving gifts to local government officials, with an exception for group gifts” but turned into a loophole (more like black hole). Restrictions to the Sunshine Law were added before passing 103-11 and heading over to the Senate. Even the original bill sponsor, Republican Shamed Dogan of Ballwin, said he wants to tone down the changes to the Sunshine Law.
Voters wanted an open and ethical government and this bill does the opposite. Lawmakers should remember that this is the Show-Me State.
— Daily American Republic