Bill would make Missouri lawmakers follow Sunshine Law

Thursday, February 13, 2014 | 7:22 a.m. CST; updated 11:12 a.m. CST, Thursday, February 13, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Some Missouri House members have filed legislation that would make them subject to the state's open-records law.

The legislation was introduced Wednesday by Democrat John Mayfield of Independence. It follows a 2013 report by Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich that criticized the legislature for adopting a double standard on open records.

The legislature has interpreted the Sunshine Law to apply to the full House and Senate, committees and staff members, but not to individual lawmakers. That means documents and emails in the possession of individual lawmakers are considered exempt from public disclosure.

Mayfield said his bill to make individual legislators comply with the Sunshine Law would bring greater transparency to the legislature. The bill has 22 co-sponsors.

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