This past week was Sunshine Week as declared by the American Society of News Editors. Sunshine Week is intended to emphasize the public's right to access open information. These records are always open to the public and are usually free. However, you may have to issue a request for the information with the appropriate organization or agency that possesses the records.
Missouri has its own Sunshine Law that says, "It is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law."
President Obama has endorsed Sunshine Week, as he is an advocate of a transparent government as a means of strengthening democracy.
In honor of Sunshine Week, the Missourian has started a "Show me the records" series in which different public records, how you can use them and where you can find them are highlighted.
When have you accessed public records? If you haven't, why not?