Missouri study finds difficulty getting local budgets

Thursday, June 25, 2009 | 12:58 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — A coalition that promotes open government in Missouri says it met various obstacles obtaining the budgets of eight southwestern communities.

The Missouri Sunshine Coalition is a newly formed group working to increase citizen access to public records and meetings. The Associated Press is one of the members.

In a study, researchers who sought municipal budgets from Battlefield, Ash Grove and Walnut Grove were asked why they wanted the information. Some cities also required written requests for their budgets.

Jim Robertson, president of the coalition, says the organization aims to ensure unfettered public access to government documents that should be available under state law. Robertson is the managing editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune.


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