Mo. House to pull reps’ home info from Web site

Thursday, August 18, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:33 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — By the end of the month, the state House of Representatives plans to remove many home addresses and telephone numbers of legislators from its Web site to comply with a new state law.

The law states that no court, state or local agency shall post on the Internet the home address, Social Security number or telephone number of any elected or appointed official without first obtaining the official’s written permission. The ban takes effect Aug. 28.

Some county officials had concerns that the law could force them to pull down government Web sites, especially those dealing with county land records and property tax data, because they wouldn’t know which records are tied to public officials.

Gov. Matt Blunt signed the law in July but urged agencies to ignore it, saying there’s no penalty for not complying and he hopes legislators will repeal the measure during a special session in September. Blunt said he signed the bill because it contained important provisions.

House Chief Clerk Steve Davis sent a memo last week telling lawmakers the House was following the new law and asking them to contact the House, ideally by next Monday, if they gave permission for posting their information.

Davis told The Kansas City Star for a story Wednesday that despite the governor’s comments, the House wanted to take some “personal responsibility’’ in following the law.

Davis said Tuesday that officials had only heard from Rep. Dennis Wood, R-Kimberling City, who allowed his information to be posted.

Rep. Cathy Jolly, D-Kansas City, said she also sent a form permitting use of her information.

The state Senate, however, doesn’t plan to remove senators’ home listings from its Web site. Administrator Jim Howerton said if lawmakers don’t repeal the measure in September, he would contact members to see if they wanted their information kept online.

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